Monday, March 28, 2011

Forward to the Past

Are they recycling used years now?
(c) 2011 by Tom King


It feels like they’re handing out used years now. I think they gave us this one back in 1978. I remember it felt exactly like this. If everything goes like it did then, we’ll be doing gas lines this summer and buying it only on even or odd days. Inflation should hit double digits by August. Now if the president starts taking foreign policy advice from his daughters…..

He’s already tried to blame the whole mess on our poor attitudes. The very least he could do is go walk around the Japanese nuclear reactors that melted down like Carter did at Three Mile Island. That sort of thing is awfully reassuring you know.

I also remember when a gallon of gas passed the price of a gallon of milk. I remember back then wondering whether they could figure out how to run a car on skim milk instead of petroleum. I mean petroleum only leaves you with plastics and asphalt after you refine out the gasoline. With milk you get cheese and sour cream! How much better is that?

Tom King – Tyler, TX

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Infiltration - The Greatest Threat to the Tea Party Movement

(c) 2011 by Tom King

The dreaded two-faced troll.
Lost a couple of friends this past week. One I blocked. He's a "moderate' and we've had some interesting discussions, but lately he's allowed a phony conservative to post bigoted racist comments while posing as a Christian and good conservative. Any real conservative would have been kicked off Leon's threads for that, but this cartoon "redneck teabagger" has been allowed to post with impunity. I think they're hoping he'll help them "out" conservatives like me that they are sure really are closet bigots, but we're just pretending to believe the things we say. They I've discovered that progressives hate reasonable conservatives.

The second guy defriended me after he launched an attack on Glenn Beck, hot on the heels of one on Sarah Palin. Skip's pretended to be a conservative for a long time, but he's struck me as a bit too organized for what he purports to be - just a guy talking about politics. The 2012 election is approaching and progressives know that the conservative opposition MUST be disorganized and fractured as it was in 2008 if they have a hope of a chance at getting this president re-elected.

Subterfuge is one of the devil's most cherished tools. Sewing confusion and discord is one of his favorite methods of over-coming the forces of goodness and light. And you needn't ask - I absolutely believe my side is the side of the angels just as progressives believe their path is the righteous and holy way to world peace. Why should I not believe we are doing God's work in defending liberty and the constitutional principles this country was founded on? Why should we be ashamed of that?

Subterfuge works like this. You send imposters into the ranks of your enemy. They attack your morale, sew confusion in the ranks and do their best to sully your reputation at large by committing heinous acts in your name.

Based on what I've observed in the past months, there seems to be an organized effort to attack the Tea Party from within. It's difficult to do since the Tea Party movement has no elected leaders. That's why so-called tea-baggers are such a danger to the progressive movement. The "leaders" are all at that local level by and large. Without a central brain, the beast is too hard to kill. The progressives are adept at neutralizing centrally-organized groups like the Republican Party by going after their leadership. Leaders make an easy target and the Republican Party leadership is pretty well riddled after years of focused attacks by progressives.

The only thing remotely like leaders the Tea Party has are Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the talk radio lot.  Their apparent strategy right now appears to be to go after Palin and Beck by appearing to snipe at their credibility from within the Tea Party itself. It's as though somebody recently signalled the trolls and sleeper cells to start finding fault with Palin and Beck. There was first a Palin wave and now they're hitting Beck. I believe, you are going to hear a lot more anti-Palin and anti-Beck stuff coming out on the conservative blogs and forums in the coming months. At this point, they only take occasional swipes at Rush as he's far too well-respected and too cagey an old bird to be much damaged by that sort of thing. But you can tell they are watching for a chink in El Rushbo's armor.

The purpose of all of this is to occupy conservatives by encouraging them to snipe at one another instead of at the president. For those still interested in an honest discussion about conservative issues', that's still to be had out there. As for the trolls and imposters that keep popping up among us? I'd just ignore them. Don't let them lure you into anger or name-calling. It doesn't help the cause at all. 

Take a cue from my favorite conservative, Ronald Reagan. It's best to simply be above that sort of thing. Say your peace and ignore the yapping lap dogs that nip at your heels - no matter how tempting it is to occasionally punt one of them through the nearest open window.

Just my opinion,

Tom King

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ms. Palin?

(c) 2011 by Tom King

Sarah Palin gets it from both sides. The left practically froths at the mouth every time you mention her name. On the right, there's a nasty-tempered lot that call her "quitter" and a "lightweight" and all manner of other perjoratives. It's a symptom of the fascination of political hacks with candidates who have "political savvy" - as if possessing political smartness somehow gives you the magical power to fool the ignorant masses into voting the way your side wants them to.

The charges that Palin abandoned her post are at the very least overblown. At worst, they are the product of "political savvy" which makes those who believe those charges part of the "ignorant masses" the politicoes count on swaying to win elections.

If you remember what was happening at the time, Palin was being overwhelmed by frivolous lawsuits and attacked from every side by the media. She had almost got to the point where she could not do her job. To her credit, she took into consideration, not what would be best for her own political future, but what would be best for Alaska's future. She had a splendid lieutenant governor and once she stepped aside, she drew virtually all the political firestorm being ginned up from the left to her.


The left had no interest in the new governor, so he was able to complete what Sarah had started. She knew that it would likely destroy her chances for future office, even among her supporters. All her advisors and practically every pundit you cared to listen to said so. Better to weather the storm than be considered a quitter.

Instead, Governor Palin did what was right for Alaska and she did so at great personal cost. Enough people understood that. Few of us had seen that sort of selflessness in politics in so long that it thrilled us.  We demanded to hear her speak and rewarded her for doing so.  She actually made money. Of course, the left criticized her for that. You knew they would. They will not be satisfied until she is dead or politically discredited with every man, woman and child in America. She quit to make herself rich on speaking fees they charged.

That's a flying load of fertilizers. Palin had NO way of being sure that any of her supporters would stand by her after she resigned.  Her advisors warned her that everyone would turn on her. Many did turn on her. Yet, many also believed she was right to do what she did for Alaska, even at risk to herself and her political career.  Sarah was rewarded because enough people saw the good sense and bravery in what she did.

Good on' her I say. You can, of course, make a strong case for her not having political "sense" in resigning as governor. The question is, do we want someone with good "political sense" in public office or someone who cares about getting done what's best for the people who elected her.

Sarah, in essence, fell on a grenade to save her state. If she'd have continued, the horde of leftist locusts that had already descended on the state would have drained millions in taxpayer dollars from Alaska's treasury. Alaska would have exhausted itself dealing with lawsuits and legal maneuvers that would have crippled the government of a state that is long on resources and land and kind of short on taxpayers and the kind of big state political machinery it would have taken to cope with the onslaught from the left and their "willing accomplices in the media" as Rush calls them.

Sarah is still drawing fire from the rabid left, which gives us the opportunity to find a candidate for president that they haven't swarmed and mauled yet. It's sad that the left will apologize for and excuse their guy despite his miserable record. They forgive him everything he's done or not done. Meanwhile, the right turns on our best, most honest and intelligent leaders at the merest suggestion from the media and the CINOs (conservative in name only) in our midst. They move among us stirring us up against each other; taking down anyone who looks remotely like Ronald Reagan. They can never let that happen again. They took Reagan for a bumbling, elderly actor with no political savvy and didn't consider him a serious challenge to the "man of the people" the Democrats had created in Jimmy Carter. Reagan buried them by being honest and real and genuine, without guile or craft.  They cannot let that happen again. And THAT is what scares them about Palin and why they can never stop piling on to her.

I say God bless Sarah for her sacrifices for the cause. I hope she gets richer than Midas off her speaker fees!  I'd vote for her in a heartbeat if she ran for president, even if not one other person in this whole blessed country did so. The rest of you go look for some plastic candidate with oodles of political savvy. I like my leaders to be real people.

Tom

Friday, March 18, 2011

Poor Old Saddam - How Could We Have Been So Mean?

A leftist friend of mine wrote this in response to my article "The Moral Sword" on Christians and preemptive war:
  • A better analogy is there is a man who in the past beat up his neighbors. His limbs were crippled and his weapons taken away. You suspect that he may have acquired new weapons. The police are currently searching him, but you can't wait for them to finish because you WANT to throw him from his wheelchair and beat him senseless. So that's exactly what you do. Then you have the audacity to claim that this is Christian behavior. Hiding behind the flag and hiding behind a cross doesn't change the fact that there was no moral or legal justification for Bush's war of choice in Iraq.

Seriously? He's comparing Sadaam Hussein to an injured man in a wheelchair? The same guy who slaughtered Shiites who attempted to revolt. The same guy who left ditches full of villagers who displeased him. The same guy who, had we not had armed aircraft flying cap over the Khurds, would cheerfully have slaughtered them as well?


If he was in a wheelchair, the man at the very least had an AK-47 laying across his lap. And he threw the police out. They couldn't search for anything. Why do you guys insist on painting that psychotic megalomaniac as though he were some poor mistreated, misunderstood humanitarian. If he could have gotten his hands on a nuke or two Saddam would have used them in a heartbeat. Everyone knew it and were scared he would; so much so that Democrats voted overwhelmingly to support President Bush's preemptive strike agains Hussein at the mere hint that he "might" be trying to get his hands on weapons grade uranium.

It's not like we wanted to hurt Iraqis. That's a major flaw in leftist rhetoric on the subject. They assume the Iraqis were loyal to Saddam Hussien. They weren't. They deserted in droves as soon as they knew we were coming. They danced in the streets as soon as Saddam got out of Dodge. When he was gone, we shut down the war and declared it over - perhaps a bit prematurely, but such was the desire to stop shooting at rank and file Iraqi people that we were prepared to risk stopping all out war (which is safer for our soldiers) so we could better avoid hurting innocents. It cost American lives to do so, but then, that's just the sort of people we are.

What people don't realize is that we dropped and fired more explosives and bullets than in WWI and WWII put together and didn't kill but a miniscule fraction of the people. We tried very hard not to hurt innocent people and our soldiers often were hurt or killed as a result of that reluctance.

As to our cruelty toward poor helpless Saddam Hussein, he deserved what he got. We should have gone all the way to Baghdad and strung him up the first time. A lot of innocent Iraqis would be alive now if we had and we wouldn't still be digging up mass graves in the Iraqi desert.

As Colin Powell said on visiting the site of a small village where Saddam's soldiers machine-gunned every man, woman and child because a teenager threw a rock at him, "We should have done this years ago."

I wasn't hiding behind anything in saying it was a hard decision.  It  is not a peculiarly Christian behavior -  conducting a war to stop a genocidal maniac like Saddam Hussein. There are other religions and philosophies that find his sort of behavior unacceptable too and condone the act of taking such a person down for the sake of others. The strong in many faiths are expected to protect the weak.

No audacity to it. I never said attacking another country something Christians routinely do as an act of faith. What I actually said was, "When someone acts like he has weapons of mass destruction, denies he has them, but has a history of outright lying about the subject, then "What do we do about it?" becomes a tougher question. On a personal level, that kind of situation requires a personal relationship with God and some coaching on His part to figure out the answer - and I've found that, in such situations, God does present the answers."

Translation: "Figuring out what is the right thing to do with evil despots is something you have to work out between yourself and God."

Liberals keep saying there was no moral or legal justification for the war in Iraq. There actually was. The original cease fire, which was still in effect, specified that weapons inspectors would be permitted inside Iraq to insure they were not building WMDs. It was clearly proven that Hussein was stalling, delaying and shuffling truckloads of stuff around the country in an attempt to keep inspectors from looking at it. After the war, scientists in his weapons program led soldiers to caches of materials he'd ordered buried in the desert. Weapons labs were uncovered (but not reported to the public) all over Iraq. AND Hussein threw out the inspectors completely, a clear violation of the treaty. We had a perfect legal right, according to the treaty to continue the earlier conflict. Hussein's treaty violations were in and of themselves an act of war and the treaty called for war to begin at the moment of those violations.
I love the Palestinian treaty logic - the kind where you sign a treaty and as soon as the Israelis stop blowing you up with tanks and planes, you lob some missiles over the border and then complain loudly when the Israelis shoot back.

The point of my earlier post was that what to do is a hard decision. The principle of turning the other cheek, which we do a lot of as Americans, and the powerful desire to right wrongs and defend the innocent, are usually in conflict. I made it pretty clear what I believe, but left the subject pretty open-ended.

If your philosophy is to "absorb" damage because you believe we somehow deserve it or because it is morally right to do so, us being bigger and stronger and somehow owe it to the less fortunate to let them crash planes into our skycrapers and set off bombs in public places and otherwise take out their frustrations on us, then it is absolutely your right to believe that is the right course of action.

All I was saying was that it's hard for Christians to stand by and watch wholesale murder. We certainly didn't like it in Yugoslavia (and it was Muslims being slaughtered there). I cheered when President Clinton stepped in to stop it. We didn't like it when the Hutus and Tutsis murdered each other or when warlords drafted child soldiers into their armies in Chad and the Sudan.

My question to my liberal and libertarian buddies is, "Should America intervene militarily to help the helpless or to depose evil dictators?"

___ No. It's none of our business!

___ Not if we think we can "control" the evil despot by smart diplomacy.

___ Yes. In all cases, even if it interferes with the rulers of a sovereign nation,

___ Only when the oppressed agree with us?

___ Only when the oppressed are nothing like us and, frankly hate our guts?

___ Only if the people being oppressed ask us to (even though how we find out what 'the people' might be somewhat problemtic)?

___ Only if they don't have any oil or anything valuable to sell us?

___ Only if they belong to a trade union?

___ Only if a Democrat is president?

Honestly, I wonder sometimes if liberal commenters actually read things before they post or do they merely press some kind of "talking points" button and phrases like "hiding behind the flag" and "no moral or legal justification" just spew out? I mean, I'm up for a discussion and the wheelchair story was at least an attempt to address the point with an analogy, albeit one that really doesn't fit. But wouldn't it be refreshing if they would speak to the text and not to what they think is behind the text or to what they assume some ignorant redneck tea-bagger like me probably said somewhere in that big old sea of text up there that they didn't want to have to actually read for comprehension.

Tom King

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Paperwork is Killing Us

Why the Federal Government Is the Wrong Solution for Local Problems
(c) 2011 by Tom King

We are being told, by them what claim to know, that we have no idea how much out lives will be affected by the proposed Republican cuts to the federal budget. One guy even listed some of the terrible cuts for me so I'd be suitably shocked: This is the actual list






1. Elimination of the "buy local" program (page 173).
  • Okay let me get this straight. This budget item takes tax money from a local community, sends it to Washington, takes out 20 to 40% for admin costs and then sends it back to you to pay for federal employees to go around telling you to buy stuff from yourselves.
2. Fuel inspection (96)
  • And why are we inspecting fuel exactly and what will happen if we don't? No explanation as to why it's bad, it just sounds like it's bad to some folk, so they threw it into the list.
3. Farmland preservation (162)
  • Is this that program that pays people not to build things on their land - like the Congressman who draws tens of thousands of farmland preservation dollars a year for some real estate spec land he bought on the outskirts of Houston or somewhere like that?
4.  Eliminating recycling (96-99)
  • Is this budget item paying for recycling? Whatever happened to the idea the recycling was a cost-effective way to eliminate waste? Or is this just one of those deals where they "educate" people about recycling. Again, no explanation, just sounds bad, so it makes the list.
5.  Repealing school indoor air quality (112)
  • Okay, this sounds horrible. We are doing away with good air in schools. Is that it? And in what way does federal money provide good indoor air quality in schools. Does it replace bean burritos on the school cafeteria menu? Does it provide sixth grade boys with clean socks three times a day and pay them to stop using that pungent cologne they all use?  Can we no longer open a window and if not, shouldn't schools consider that as a possible solution and pay for it themselves?
6.  Transit aids
  • Not sure what that one is either. Are we talking about accessibility features on transit buses. It seems to me that people with disabilities are a primary transit customer. It seems to me that transit providers should provide those aids as a way to attract customers. Wouldn't it be cheaper to have the city pay for those. That way only the city pays admin costs for the program, not the city, the state AND the fed leaving precious little money to actually help more than a handful of transit providers.
7.  Elimnating energy independence office (152)
  • Yeah, boy. Those guys have sure done a bang-up job! If we didn't know they were actually there, will we miss them?
8. Eliminating DPI environmental consultant (173)
  • I looked this one up. DPI is the Department of Public Instruction and this program is environmental education. Basically we're paying for a global warming propagandist.  I think I'd rather not!  We've got school teachers for that.
9. Intercity bus assistance (173-174)
  • It's tought to get intercity buses, unless you realize that rural transit bus providers can do that in a pinch and that if there are actually enough people interested in traveling between cities on a regular basis, you can talk some enterprising private transit provider into providing the service quite easily without holding local public hearings, running a massively expensive feasibilty study and then waiting a year for procurement bidding, setting up the admin structure, rider qualification process and developing a fare structure and federal, state and local co-funding.  Private guys just send one of their buses to pick people up that need a ride.  I know, I'm a local transit advocate and I've seen how effective private providers can be, especially when they are using local government funding to provide rides. They make great partners for local public transit companies.
10. Mass transit (57-58, 175)
  • I seriously doubt the feds are eleminating mass transit entirely. They can't. Most mass transit is funded locally through fares and city, state and county budgets. They get a lot of federal bucks to supplement the cost of weak routes. What a lot of cities discover is that paying for transit can stimulate business in town and build their tax base. Denver's downtown "bus every 15 minutes" service revitalized empty downtown shops because it made it easy for people to park and shop without having to mess with the traffic. These kinds of projects pay for themselves and really don't need federal dollars. Locals will do it if it is cost effective.
11. Creating freeway megaprojects (175-176)
  • Tried that in Texas. We spent more trying to defend the concept than we did in building it. It died. When freeways become so congested with truck traffic that we can't drive on them, we'll build the big through tollway. We probably would have built it already, but someone was going to give the construction to a French company. Texans didn't like that. We'll fix the problem, especially if we can quit sending so much money to other states to pay for their freeway megaprojects.
12. Devastating K12-, technical colleges
  • There's a budget item for devastating K12 and technical colleges.  I suspect they're talking about defunding the Department of Education.  Isn't that the agency Jimmy Carter created which has since presided over a steadily declining American education system? Again, not sure we need "education' about education. Seems inefficient.
14. Eliminating UW supports 
  • Scratched my head over this one till I suddenly realized what UW stood for - undocumented workers! Yeah, there's going to be a lot of folks unhappy about getting rid of those I bet.
13. Eliminating in-state tuition for undocumented students.
  • That's the program where we pay for folks who sneaked over the border to get a discount on their tuition as though they were legal residents while kids who drive across the state line to go to school have to pay more............right?
You know, I do realize some things will have to change if we develop a realistic federal budget. So, I'm actually in favor of eleminating a lot of the things my friend listed above even though I may approve of what the program is trying to accomplish. Recycling is great. Promoting transit is a good thing - one in five Texans, for instance, cannot drive and depend on transit. But the cost in federal paperwork alone is a good reason it should be handled at the state and local level.

I just believe that the federal government is the wrong entity to conduct those programs.

Three reasons:

  1. Central authorities tend to design one-size-fits-all programs which generate poorly adapted program implementation when they are applied at the local level. This generates waste and inefficiency.
  2. Centrally planned programs require huge administrative bureaucracies. Huge bureaucracies generate vast amounts of paperwork for themselves and other bureaucracies which necessitates the hiring of more bureaucrats to handle the flow of paperwork. Federal programs easily spend 50 to 60% on admin costs leaving but a fraction of taxpayer money to do what the program proports to do = generating waste and inefficiency.
  3. Federal program staff have one primary goal - keep their jobs. To do this they must not only appear to be doing what they are supposed to be doing, but must also spend all their entire appropriation doing so. If they don't spend all their money, their budget gets cut the next year. If you ever want to hear weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, cut a federal agenciy's budget. The need to spend all the budgeted funds creates (you guessed it). Waste and inefficiency.
It's far better for states, counties and cities to create programs to address their own problems than for the federal government to try to do it from on high. In my experience, Washington hasn't a clue what East Texas needs and shouldn't make blanket decisions about how to solve our problems. We need to solve our own problems. It's a whole lot cheaper that way.

The way this bloated federal budget does it now, if we send a thousand bucks to the federal government, we get maybe 20% back in usable dollars. The rest they keep for the military (which I understand), stuff they give to other states, and big fat administrative fees. The only way to cut those administrative costs is to cut the amount of money they have to admiinster.

So, yeah, cutting this over-inflated budget is going to hurt. Some congressmen will no longer be able to claim "farmland preservation subsidies" for those real estate investments they bought ion the outskirts of Houston. Denver and Detroit. People will have to decide for themselves whether they want to recycle without being paid to do so.

We'll lose some useful programs in the process. Perhaps if we don't have to send so much money to the federal government to pay for the deficit, maybe later we can bring them back and actually pay for them cash up front. Or, better yet, pay for them at the local level where the bureaucracies would be smaller and thus the admin costs.

The interest is killing us, folks. We could actually fund most of the realy good programs if we could eliminate the interst payments on the debt alone, not to mention the principle. The madness has to stop.

I'm just saying.

Tom

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why Can't We Control Illegal Immigration?

A Snarky Response to Continued Bloviation by the Isolationists
at Both Ends of the Political Spectrum
(c) 2011 by Tom King

Got one of those e-mails describing how tough countries like Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, even Mexico are on illegal immigrants. It ignores one thing, however. It's not quite true.  Afghanistan does have a flood of illegals in the form of Taliban soldiers, who regularly cross their borders from sanctuaries in Pakistan. Iraq faces waves of foreign jihadists pouring over the borders from Iran and Syria. The current Venezuelan government started out as illegal immigrants working from rebel safe bases across the borders. Even Mexico, which has tough immigration laws on its books, only selectively enforces them. In spite of those laws, there is a steady stream of South American refugees crossing their southern borders headed for "El Norte",.

So the premise is already flawed.  But even presuming that these nation's draconian policies toward illegals were enforced (though they really aren't), why can't Americans do something like that and control our own immigration problem?

Why?  Let me count the ways.....
  1. Because Americans are good, decent Christian people who cannot bear to see someone suffer.
  2. Because we feel a bit guilty because our country is so blessed and the only reason we're in it is because our ancestors used every means at their disposal to get here in the first place and so we sympathize with anyone who wants to come here.
  3. Because we know that there, but for the grace of God could go we. A lot of folk, like me, have a sneaking admiration for the courage, love of family and really profound work ethic of these folks who are essentially refugees - at least the ones who aren't drug mules or terrorists..
  4. Because the evil people who run Mexico take advantage of the misery of their own people and the kindness of the United States to solve their problems with poverty, poor education and overpopulation among their own people and the drug runners with whom those evil people in government and law enforcement are in cahoots know they can use these people as drug mules and decoys to ship their crap to the Charlie Sheens of America who fund their lavish lifestyle.
  5. Because corrupt business people in the U.S. use them as virtual slave labor. They can't complain or they'll get shipped back to the hellhole they just escaped. It's a priceless opportunity to make some real coin and we like our roses, lettuce and chicken products cheap (or at least we apparently want growers and manufacturers to make as much money as possible producing those goods).
  6. And finally, because the libs on the left and right (liberals and libertarians) think we can sit behind our borders and defend it without actually going over there and rooting out the problem at its source.
Unlike the other folk my friend's e-mail mentioned, none of those countries have the slightest problem sending someone to murder, blow up or make disappear those who cause them problems. Also, people want to get OUT of those countries, so there isn't much problem with people sneaking in.  Nobody wants to go there except, of course, terrorists looking for a place to train.

How long do you think the drug cartels would remain unmolested if they were sitting just across the Iranian or Chinese or Afghan border and bothering those governments. The only reason Al-Quaeda is sitting safely within the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran is because those governments find them a useful tool to use against the weak Americans who obviously have no intention of offending anyone by rooting out the problem at the source. Oh, there was that scare with the two Bush's, but the US Congress and public squeamishness eventually made sure that neither one finished the job he started. Once her realized the U.S. wasn't going to follow through, even Libya's Ghaddafi, eventually got his courage back and put on some dry pants after watching those grainy Youtube videos of Saddam swinging from that hemp necktie!

Conclusion:

Right or wrong, we're not going to stop it, even if we spend a fortune trying to shut off the flow of human misery across our southern border. We'd just be punishing people for trying to find a better life for themselves and their families. We up here in "El Norte" just don't have the capacity for that level of cruelty. We find it difficult to swat refugees back into the floodwaters of misery that is Mexico.

And without the will to go down there and root out the bad guys in their dens for ourselves, all we do is leave evil unmolested, festering and spreading just outside our borders. It's like living in a beautiful house with well-stocked pantries, paying an exterminator to come in regularly to protect our own house and hoping that the ravening hordes of plague rats living in the nearby sewers and infesting the houses around us, won't cross our fences looking for a meal and driving terrified field mice and waves of insects before them.

To solve your problem, you clean out the rats nests where they breed. That's the only thing that works.

And before someone attaches my name to this "chilling" quote, let me explain that I'm talking about the cartels and their allies in the ancient and corrupt Mexican government - not about the poor folks just trying to get out of there alive..

I ain't saying it would be a pretty solution or that it would make anyone love us, except possibly the Mexican people, but it would work. I mean, after all, the Japanese are our friends and we dropped a couple of A-bombs on them. I'm not recommending dropping A-bombs on Mexico, but it's tempting to send some SEAL teams in to make the cartels go away at the very least.  I think the Mexicans would probably forgive us.

As to issues of morality, I'm not speaking to that. I'm talking about what would be effective. In this evil world, evil people respect and fear only strength. They find compassion laughable. That's why the only solution to the ultimate problem of evil was for God to intervene directly to provide a way to save the good people and let the evil people destroy themselves.

That's why Jesus' second coming will be accompanied by waves of death and flames and horror. Once we good guys, whom every evil jerk that walks the planet takes advantage of because they see us as "suckers", leave this place, the universe will see the ultimate consequence of sin.....................death and death, I suspect, will come for the evil people in this world by their own hands. I don't think God will have to lift a finger.

Just one opinion. I'm sure there are others. They would be wrong, but you guys just talk among yourselves.*

Tom
*Sorry, I'm tired of political fantasy today and I'm not sending this to ten of my friends, although, I assure you, I do care and I do love Jesus.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Moral Sword - Preemptive War and the Christian Nation

He who hesitates?
Should we ever strike first and how do you define a first strike?
(c) 2011 by Tom King

Okay, what would you do in this scenario.

You are confronted by a man you know for a fact has killed and attacked his neighbors repeatedly. He has what looks like a gun in his side pocket. His hand is in the pocket. The shape of the gun points at you.

Your family is standing behind you. The man says I am going to kill you and all of yours. You have a gun in the back of your pants.

Do you:
  1. Stand there and hope he doesn't really mean it when he says he's going to kill you and your family.
  2. Stand there hoping he really doesn't have a gun.
  3. Ask him to show his gun before you let him shoot you.
  4. Snap out your pistol and put 3 shots center mass before he can react and shoot you back.
The Ron Paul crowd and the liberal-pacifists never tire of pointing out that attacking Iraq was immoral because we attacked first, supposedly without warning. Afghanistan, sometimes gets a pass since they were harboring Al Quaeda at the time of the 9/11 attacks, but lately, not so much. They particularly love the "How can you be a Christian and support...." argument.

I realize that as a Christian I am required by God to turn the other cheek if it's just me. When my family is standing behind me and are threatened, the ethos changes somewhat. I doubt many of these sunshine moralists have ever stood unarmed facing a guy with a two by four or an 8-inch hunting knife pointed at their bellies and the look of death in their eyes and been required to "turn the other cheek".  I have.  It's frightening and requires an incredible exercise in faith in your Maker, I'm here to say. I worked with mentally disturbed kids and adults for a couple of decades of my career and this kind of thing happend a lot, so don't tell me I don't understand how to turn the other cheek. When my family is threatened, however, my viewpoint on the matter changes radically. 

My wife rags me constantly on my driving when she's with me. I asked her once how she thought I drove when she wasn't in the car?  She said, "God takes care of you then, but when I'm here, but when I'm in the car, He expects me to do my part."

That's kind of my take on whether to adopt a passive or proactive response to defense. Don't get me wrong, I do trust God to look out for my family when I'm not around. It's just that when I am around, I think He expects me to do my part.

The command "Thou shalt not kill" by all surrounding Scriptural evidence should read more nearly "Thou shalt preserve life". Scripture shows God repeatedly sending his people to war when the lives of the women and children are threatened. He often seems to order a preemptive strike too with overwhelming force, especially when God knows the enemy plans to strike first.

Sometimes God hurls lightning bolts at the ravening hordes on our behalf as he did for the prophet Samuel on one occasion. At other times, he sends David to whack Goliath on the head with a rock. Now David was preemptive. Goliath had not, after all, actually hurled that spear with the 30 pound head and shaft like a weaver's beam. So far he had been nothing but talk and waving a sharp sword around.

When someone acts like he has weapons of mass destruction, denies he actually does, but has a history of outright lying about the subject, then "What do we do?" becomes a tougher question.

On a personal level, that kind of situation requires a personal relationship with God and some coaching on His part to figure out the answer - and I've found that, in such situations, God does present the answers.


On a national level......well I think God guides there  too. 

I think God placed G.W. Bush where he was at the time he was needed. For that matter, He also placed LBJ where he was for a specific purpose - probably Civil Rights legislation which no Republican president could ever have pulled off with a Democrat majority in congress. I think Vietnam was allowed, in order to teach us a lesson about arrogance in how we use our strength. In Vietnam we poured out American blood in order to test war toys (which coincidentally made wealthy arms dealers and ex-congressmen and senators and generals wealthy too). We learned from that never to go to war unless you fight to win. The Gulf War taught us not to quit till the job is finished. Iraq and Afghanistan may be about simply opening up the middle east to the idea of democracy, if only long enough to provide a window for God to rescue His people from among the soldiers of the evil one.

Scripture talks about the angels holding back the winds of strife at the very end of Earth's history. I suspect they're having to rope and hog tie those winds right now and that when they let them go, a horror will descend on this planet the likes of which we have never seen.

The United States, for all its flaws, has been a tool in the hand of God and the President's heart is, as the psalmist says, "In the hands of the Lord."
Doesn't mean I won't worry about this president. It doesn't mean I won't question the president or argue with him if I believe what he is doing is wrong. All it means is that I'm confident it will all work out as it should in the end.

Thank God for that.

Tom

Monday, March 7, 2011

Is the Pope a Progressive Socialist?

"Disturbing Encyclical Calls for World Government and U.S. to become "Subsidiary" To It
(c) 2011 by Tom King

A friend forwarded me the link to this Encyclical released by Pope Benedict XVI. As an American conservative, I find it totally disturbing. I have included, perhaps, the most disturbing bit, in which the Pope calls for a global government to which all the world's nations would be subsidiary. In essence, he calls for the United States, long a bastion of religious and individual freedom, to join the international community and submit itself to the judgment of the world - a world from which our ancestors, wave on wave of immigrants, fled seeking freedom and opportunity.

I'm glad I'm not Catholic. I would have a great deal of difficulty opposing the supreme leader of my church on this issue and oppose him I would. Jesus said we fight against principalities and powers. It seems, if you've been following the news lately, that those powers, many of which are mentioned in this encyclical, are joining together to create a world in which individuals submit their will to the collective judgment of a powerful world government. In another place in the encyclical, the Pope states that such a government should have "some teeth".  He repeatedly uses words like "subsidiarity" and "solidarity". He refers to trade unions and progressive governments as important partners in the process.  He states, "Obviously it (the global government) would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums."  It is the same thing called for by progressive socialists, union leaders, environmental groups and even radical Islamists.  Though their vision of a one world government is quite different, the Islamic jihadists seem prepared to work arm in arm with other factions to create such a world government, if only, to make the world conquerable in a single stroke rather than piecemeal as they would have to in today's world of independent nations.

Don't get me wrong here, I am not anti-Catholic. I have dear Christian friends who are Roman Catholic whom I know God loves and blesses. That said, when a world church leader of the influence and power of the Pope, comes out in favor of something as drastic as a world government, those who have a moral objection to that cannot remain silence, whether we respect the leader or not. If the General Conference President of my own church advocated that the U.S. should submit itself to a world government, I'd be setting up a howl.

If you would like to read the entire document and judge for yourself, click on the title below.  It will take you to the Vatican website where the entire encyclical is published. This is the most telling part of encyclical.



Excerpt:

"To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good[147], and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights[148]. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations."