Thursday, December 30, 2010

Can God help our children when we've removed Him from our schools?

The poem below was taken from a brilliant and inspired House speech entitled "Prayer in America" by Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland) on September 5, 2003. The Honorable Representative states,

A couple of years ago a young woman in a high school in Oklahoma wrote this poem as a new school prayer:

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule.
For this great nation under God,
Finds mention of him very odd.
If scripture now the class recites
It violates the Bill of Rights.
Any time my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange, or green.
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene. T
he law is specific, the law is precise.
Only prayers spoken out loud are serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone who has no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the State.

We are allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They have outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy' our Senior King.

It is inappropriate to teach right from wrong,
We are taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It is scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot, my soul please take.

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" - Arizona has it right

http://azgovernor.gov/dms/upload/EO_2009_11.pdf

This Arizona Executive Order is good-to-go. Merry Christmas to all...especially those warriors in lands far, far away.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christ-mas miracle





http://www.meridianmagazine.com/article/7018?ac=1


aerial video of fire: http://ldsliving.com/story/63120-aerial-video-of-provo-tabernacle-fire

A very recent article and pictures by Bill Freeze of the Provo (Utah) Tabernacle. The article linked above, states that no one was injured, fortunately.

With the flames higher than the roof, completely obliterating carpet, furniture, curtains, walls, floors, the roof and, in short, the entire structural underpinnings, I have no doubt this miracle of the picture of the Millennial Messiah was spared through divine means as yet another evidence of His omnipotence.

No sparrow falls to the ground unnoticed. No hair of the head is lost, but He sees. He is in charge. He allows things to happen according to His will, His time-line and His perfect knowledge to benefit and bless all humanity.

This Christmas season, I'm eternally grateful for the Babe in Bethlehem. Without Easter there could be no Christmas. He lives and watches carefully over us in good times and bad. If our faith could be made perfect, we would never doubt again. Truly all things are in His hands. And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Radically Transforming your Marriage



Brian King
has an undergraduate degree from BYU in International Relations, including a semester abroad, studying Arabic in Jerusalem/Cairo. He received a Masters in Security Studies at Georgetown and began work as an analyst with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Brian spent a year at Naval Forces Central Command and two years at the NCIS field office in Rota, Spain. Additionally, he holds a Masters degree from the National Defense Intelligence College and now works at the National Counterterrorism Center. He teaches a class at the University of Maryland on Terrorist Motivations and Behavior. Brian King is the author of The 100 Day Promise: Radically Transforming your Marriage by Living with Complete Concern for your Spouse's Happiness, available for purchase on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/100-Day-Promise-Radically-Transforming/dp/1453828699


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-100-Day-Promise/144625628915079

Warrior SOS: Congratulations on your recently published book. Tell us how it all came about.

King: After an argument with my wife (Nonnie) I came to the realization that everything we can either cause a relationship to spiral up in a positive way or spiral down. I wondered what would happen if I only did things to make our relationship spiral up for an extended period of time without her knowing. I decided to focus completely on her happiness for 100 days and write down the highlights of each day. It had an amazing impact on us. When some of our friends heard about it they were so excited. I started to realize that this was a message that could really motivate people to change the dynamic in their relationships.


Warrior SOS
: The entire concept behind your experiment sounds intriguing and exciting. Is there anything in particular that happened during this period that really made a drastic difference in your relationship?

King: No, there wasn't anything specific that seemed to make the difference. It was the sum total of all the little things that seemed to put wind in her sails and created a buffer in front of the occasional inconsiderate things I said or did. As the days went on, it seemed to make it easier for Nonnie to have more of the same mindset. It was just that little extra effort that seemed to make the difference. For example, one time I was laying on the floor watching TV and she asked for a blanket that was sitting next to me. Instead of just throwing it to her, I walked over and laid it over her making her smile.

Warrior SOS: How has the reception to your book and concept behind it been? Have you had anyone disagree with the idea?

King: The reception has been really great. It makes my day when someone tells me the book gave them a boost or more hope in working on their marriage. I've had two friends question whether going full throttle like this to try to make someone happy is a good idea. I think they misunderstood it to mean that you should put up with being mistreated without complaint. While I wouldn't necessarily expect anyone to live their whole lives this way, I just wanted to take it to the extreme for a short period to see what would happen. In reality there may have to be a little more communication and compromise. The main idea is that you can only get to the place you want to go by living with greater concern for your spouse's happiness. For the military minded, I think of it as an asymmetric attack instead of the usual haggling and give-and-take of a relationship. It changes the whole dynamic.

Warrior SOS: Was it hard to stay motivated throughout the 100 days?

King: People are surprised when I say this, but No, it wasn't. Once I made the decision to do it that was it. There were a couple times when I had to really pause and think about what the right thing to do was. Had I not committed to a certain period of time I'm sure I would have just settled back into my normal routine.

Warrior SOS: Did she ever suspect what you were up to?

King: After a few weeks when I asked her what she thought of a nice note I sent her, she asked if I "was dying or something." I just laughed it off. She could tell things were different, but didn't really suspect anything like this.


Warrior SOS: How has your relationship improved--or has it?


King: We're having more fun now and when we're in a difficult situation it seems like we both realize that we have to handle it carefully. There is also a buffer zone from all positive actions that makes it much harder to get to the place where anger or frustration arises.

Warrior SOS: In a family setting, do kids play a role and, if so, what benefits do they derive?

King: Kids play a big role. Mainly the huge demands they make on each parent naturally put stress on the marriage relationship. When they see the parents happy and loving each other it shapes them into being that way. You see them helping and solving problems better. They get more excited about doing nice things for other people. It will no doubt ripple down to their kids and people they interact with throughout their lives.


Warrior SOS
: What advice would you offer to warriors—those in military service, law enforcement or private security?

King: It can be hard going from a job where you are keyed up and ready for a confrontation to home where handling problems with the same direct mindset is only going to set you back. Realize that doing everything you can to make your spouse loved and happy is the only way to develop the dynamic that most people are seeking. Understanding this will change your whole approach to resolving challenges. It can also be hard after returning from a long deployment or tense day on the job to not think that it should be "me" time when you get back. Taking a few minutes to show concern for their situation will go a long way.


Warrior SOS: Is there different advice that you'd recommend to the spouses of warriors?

King: Not really, it is basically the same concept for either spouse. Perhaps I would suggest separating the bad news about scheduling or deployments from what he or she actually wants or is in control of.


Warrior SOS
: Certainly there are situations that arise that can be terribly devastating to any relationship—infidelity, abuse, illegal activities or drunkenness of one or both marriage partners that compound marital problems. What's your recommendation for this?

King: While living selflessly is a key component to a healthy relationship, it may not always be enough. At a certain point, if there is no desire to change damaging behavior, whether through counseling or otherwise, you may have to end the relationship. I would recommend as you go through the process of resolving difficult problems that you keep in mind the effect your responses will have. The cumulative effect of vengeful responses, although justified, will make it hard for the relationship to rebuild, if that is what you want.

Warrior SOS: Do you have any last advice or suggestions to those who want to improve their relationship—who want to try what you've attempted but might hesitate doing so?

King: As with many things, the difference between success and failure is often very slim. Giving that little extra effort may be all that is needed to put you on a totally different track. Having a loving relationship is key to not only a happy home and peace of mind, but also to achieving the other goals you have in life. It might seem like a hassle at first, but I can promise you that the results of the new relationship will be worth the investment.


Warrior SOS
: Finally, why do you think it is hard for people to think or act in such a selfless way—putting their spouse first?

King: On the surface, it seems illogical to say that you can find your own happiness by thinking of someone else first. It is human nature in some ways to look out for your own well being. Most people have a strong sense of justice and quickly go to battle-mode when they see something unfair. Although families can bring great rewards, they also require a lot of work. It totally changes the game when you stop trying to control the line of justice in a relationship. Only when you give up that battle is the other person freed from that cycle.

Warrior SOS: Thank you so very much, Brian. I truly hope your book helps many warriors and their spouses endure the challenges faced in every relationship, as well as the occasional extra burden placed on those who fight so that others may live.

Brian King, author of The 100 Day Promise: Radically Transforming your Marriage by Living with Complete Concern for your Spouse's Happiness, available for purchase now on Amazon.com.


http://www.amazon.com/100-Day-Promise-Radically-Transforming/dp/1453828699

Follow The 100 Day Promise on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-100-Day-Promise/144625628915079

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hallelujah - Isaiah 9:6

It wouldn't be Christmas without Handel's greatest oratorio. Here's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Introducing -- Warrior SOS

Over the last two weeks or so I've experienced very interesting news, to say the least. I've had friends in Iraq and Afghanistan experiencing a wide array of challenges that comes from war operations and being bereft of hearth and home. I've had police officer friends experience personal challenges from having traveled to war and war-torn areas, and my brother-in-law, an Iraqi War vet, went to the doctor for a headache: two days later they did brain surgery for a tumor.

While we fully expect, in faith, he'll be well, I've still decided to open a non-profit foundation called Warrior SOS. SOS is a distress signal. Warriors need our help, so do their family members. Join us on Facebook.

My Faith - Click on the picture

I'm a Mormon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Federal Court Rules: 11 Foreign Countries May Now Join Lawsuit Against Arizona

This is horrific! Our Constitution is being assailed! Raise a hue and a cry! This kind of internal attack cannot go on much longer without a complete overthrow of our entire republic!

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43199.html

By Scott Wong

October 6, 2010

In a new twist in the fight over Arizona’s immigration law, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday asked a federal court to disallow foreign governments from joining the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit to overturn the law.

The move comes in response to a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Monday, allowing nearly a dozen Latin American countries — Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Chile — to submit friend-of-the-court briefs in Justice’s challenge to SB 1070, which Brewer signed into law in April and is considered one of the nation’s toughest immigration-enforcement measures.

“As do many citizens, I find it incredibly offensive that these foreign governments are using our court system to meddle in a domestic legal dispute and to oppose the rule of law,” the Republican governor said in a statement shortly after the state’s motion was filed Tuesday evening.

“What’s even more offensive is that this effort has been supported by the U.S. Department of Justice. American sovereignty begins in the U.S. Constitution and at the border,” she added. “I am confident the 9th Circuit will do the right thing and recognize foreign interference in U.S. legal proceedings and allow the State of Arizona to respond to their brief.”

Brewer and her supporters have said the state law is necessary because the federal government has failed to protect the border and enforce immigration laws. But the Justice Department — with strong backing from President Barack Obama — sued to block the Arizona law on constitutional grounds.

Responding to the suit, a federal judge in July put some of the most contested parts of the law on hold, including a provision that requires police officers to check the immigration status of individuals they stop for other offenses if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the country illegally.

Brewer, who has vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court, appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court, which will begin hearing arguments in San Francisco on Nov. 1, one day before the midterm elections.

The Arizona law is a top political issue nationally. Cities from San Francisco and Seattle to Baltimore have joined a friend of the court brief opposing the Arizona law, while 11 states — including Texas, Florida and Nebraska — filed an amicus brief backing the law.

In July, more than 80 Republican members of Congress signed their names to an amicus brief filed by the conservative Immigration Reform Caucus. They included Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, David Vitter of Louisiana and John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Reps. Lamar Smith of Texas, Steve King of Iowa and Trent Franks of Arizona.

Brewer’s motion should resonate among conservative legal scholars worried about giving foreign legal systems a voice in American jurisprudence. These concerns are a reaction to a school of legal thought arguing that American judges should look to foreign laws and courts for assistance in interpreting the U.S. Constitution, particularly in regard to basic human rights issues. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is arguably the leading spokesperson for this approach, as noted in a 2005 New Yorker profile.

The state of Arizona’s motion could also strike a chord with those on the right who are convinced that President Barack Obama (and Bill Clinton before him) want to make U.S. laws subordinate to international courts, particularly the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Under Clinton, the United States signed a treaty to join the court weeks before leaving office in January 2001, though the Senate never ratified his action. Months later, President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the treaty, saying he worried foreign governments would try to prosecute U.S. troops for alleged war crimes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

George Washington (re: our current situation)

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be Freemen, or Slaves.”

--George Washington

General orders—July 2, 1776 (The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, volume 5, p. 211; 1932)

Paul Harvey on "Policemen"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I welcome the TEA Party Movement, hoping to shake the Ds & Rs.

I am glad to see the rise of the so-called TEA Party movement. Democrats and Republicans alike have pitted against one another in divisive ways. There is corruption on both sides of the political spectrum, and there has been for years. Elected Dems and GOP members, at both the state and federal level, have gotten arrested and have violated laws with blatant disregard, supposing, perhaps that they are above the law. The American people are fed up. I am fed up.

Political wrangling is such that it is time for shift, a change—a major change—a moral, political and spiritual revolution.

I see, and hope, that not only the dems lose the majority in the upcoming election, but that all corrupt politicians and appointed officials get blasted off seats of national influence, district representation, and policymaking. I believe the day is soon coming that a third party will begin to integrate themselves on the ballots in a powerful way. We see that happening, in part, now. We can only hope that those who do run will run on the platform—and, in truth, follow the paths—of honesty, integrity, goodness and wisdom. Our country needs a political and moral revival.

I welcome a third or even fourth party influence if it will crush those who behave in ways that our first President, George Washington, warned against during his farewell speech in 1796. He warned against two powerful, contending political parties. Here's what he said:

Let me now…warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind.—It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed, but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and, sooner or later, the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purpose of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not be entirely out of sight) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasional riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Decisions by Federal Judges - destroy family / country

City May Not Enforce Immigration Laws

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hazleton, Pa., may not enforce its crackdown on illegal immigrants, dealing another blow to 4-year-old regulations that inspired similar measures around the country. The city's mayor pledged to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said that Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act usurped the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hkWhluTKRQkgDRIl8zJOqQQSeo-gD9I4LCCG2

Federal Judge Rules: United States Military's Ban on Homosexuals is Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Southern California on Thursday declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment rights of gay and lesbians.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

Phillips said the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services.

The lawsuit was the biggest legal test of the law in recent years and came amid promises by President Barack Obama that he will work to repeal the policy.

Government lawyers argued Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and the issue should be decided by Congress.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Corrupt Judges corrupt societies

A federal judge overturned Nebraska's ban on flag mutilation Thursday, clearing the way for Kansas church protesters to continue trampling on the U.S. flag when they protest at military funerals....

[Nebraska] Attorney General...has previously said the flag-protection law passed in 1977 is not consistent with later U.S. Supreme Court rulings that labeled flag desecration a form of protected speech.

http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=13093710



Missouri's tight restrictions on protests and picketing outside military funerals were tossed out by a federal judge...


http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-16/justice/missouri.funeral.protests.ruling_1_military-funerals-westboro-baptist-church-fred-phelps?_s=PM:CRIME

[An openly gay] US district judge in San Francisco on Wednesday overturned California's Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/0804/Proposition-8-federal-judge-overturns-California-gay-marriage-ban


A federal judge in Madison [Wisconsin] has ruled the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.

[The] U.S. District [Judge] reached the conclusion [after] a lawsuit... of atheists and agnostics ...[saying] that the day violates the separation of church and state.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/15/federal-judge-rules-day-prayer-unconstitutional/

Where is America headed? Judges from the Supreme Court to every level of the court system in America need to be Judges who follow the Founding Father's, who know, revere and uphold the beloved US Constitution from a moral and honorable standpoint as it was originally intended by those who erected it. The Constitution is endangered when interpretations of it are completely perverted.

I highly recommend the reading of David Barton's Original Intent.

http://www.wallbuilders.com/

98-year-old Driver Kills former Navy SEAL

Unfortunately, there comes a time when we all get too old to do things safely. A former Navy SEAL (BUDS Class 199) was riding his motorcycle (with a helmet) when a 98-year-old woman pulled out in front of him. This is a complete tragedy for all parties involved. Why was this woman driving?

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15972820#ixzz0yOJS6gkG

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Airline Probe or Dry-Run Rehearsal Today

Two men from different locations in the US, flew to Chicago and changed their flight plans to Dulles (Virginia) and on to Amsterdam to straight to Amsterdam. Inside their checked luggage were knives, box cutters, $7,000 cash, several watches and cell phones taped together. One of those electronic devices was taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle.

This is indicative of the Bojinka Plot, wherein a an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was hidden under a seat with a watch timer taped to a bottle about the size of a Pepto bottle. The Islamically-motivated terrorist got off the plane after hiding the device. The IED exploded in air and the terrorist was no where to be found since he got off that flight.

Evil men will continue to attack weak links (and all cannot be secured with perfection). Eventually another attack, and then another will happen.

My concern is that in the wake of another terror attack the masses will demand safety, but at what consequence? Instead of creating larger government bureaucracies and spending more money that we don't have, we need to pray for those in charge that they'll exercise wisdom and constraint -- that they'll preserve our freedom while preserving our safety. We, the people, must never allow our safety to take precedence over our freedom.

In sum, let's always remember the inspired words of Benjamin Franklin:

"Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

Let us return to God and know that He directs the affairs of the people and He can stop attacks or allow them to occur where intelligence or security personnel fail.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Attorney General Eric Holder MUST be impeached; he is NOT following the US Constitution

US Constitution
Article XI
Jan. 8, 1798

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States, by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thank God for Freedom - July 4th

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.

Alexander Hamilton

Friday, July 2, 2010

George Washington’s Farewell Address , September, 17, 1796

George Washington’s Farewell Address

United States, 17th September, 1796

To the People of the United States:

Friends and Fellow Citizens: The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made . . . .

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel . . . .

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquility at home; your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth, as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed; it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth, or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have, in a common cause, fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess, are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts, of common dangers, suffering and successes . . . .

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as a matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations,—northern and southern—Atlantic and western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection . . . .

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances, in all times, have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government, better calculated than your former, for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and maintaining within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.—But the constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presuppose the duty of every individual to obey the established government . . . .

Towards the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular opposition to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretext. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system; and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be involved, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions:—that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country:—that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion: and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular references to the founding of them on geographical discrimination. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind.—It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed, but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and, sooner or later, the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purpose of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not be entirely out of sight) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasional riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent it bursting into a flame, lest instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominate in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasion of the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes.—To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the constitution designates.—But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering, also, that timely disbursements to prepare for danger, frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions, in time of peace, to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinions should cooperate . . . .

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt but, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it; can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachements for others, should be excluded; and that in place of them, just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility, instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducements or justifications. It leads also to concessions, to the favorite nation, of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessary parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted or deluded citizens who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gliding with the appearance of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influences in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils!—Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike for another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interest.

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith:—Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence, she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collusions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation, when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rival-ship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion, it is unnecessary, and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, and a liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; con-suiting the national course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of inter course, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations, but if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated.

How far, in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have, at least, believed myself to be guided by them . . . .

Though in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government—the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors and dangers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The End of Men

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/

Monday, June 14, 2010

Please Remove Your Shoes -- Me, in a Scene from the Movie


http://www.pleaseremoveyourshoesmovie.com/

Catching a flight will never be the same again.

Check out Please Remove Your Shoes, the shocking and revealing documentary film about aviation security flaws, available for sale now. This film is being released on July 1st, just in time for July 4th!!! America needs to wake up. The Transportation Security Administration, Homeland Security and aviation security charlatans have it all wrong. AMERICA WILL BE ATTACKED AGAIN.

This film is extraordinary! (...and not because I was interviewed for it.) Those experts and politicians speaking out against the horrible mess created by the government since 9/11 will leave you speechless. All of America needs to know what's in this film. Get it today!

Also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1054830545#!/pages/Please-Remove-Your-Shoes/112988248732358?ref=ts

Friday, June 4, 2010

World Cup: This Father Knows Families are Forever

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/06/03/1957211/manchester-united-striker-javier-hernandezs-father-quits

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez's father quits managerial role to watch son at 2010 World Cup

Chivas reserve coach resigns to head for South Africa...

By Andrea Martinez
3 Jun 2010 18:41:00

Javier ‘Chicharo’ Hernandez has quit his job as manager of Chivas' reserve side in order to watch his son, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, play for Mexico in this summer's World Cup in South Africa.

Hernandez had initially asked for permission to leave for some time from the Chivas institution, but they refused and so he quit 11 days ago, according to several media outlets.

“I asked for permission to go to the World Cup, and they didn’t allow me,” Hernandez told reporters.

“By forming part of this institution they did not give it to me or else they’d have to give it to everyone else.

"I had to think about it for two days with my family and kids and I made the decision to quit because I want to go to the World Cup and see my kid play. Work is secondary.”

Hernandez said that the decision was helped by once in a lifetime experiences.

“It was difficult, but in the end one is not eternal," he noted.

"Institutions remain for lives and one doesn’t. Moments from your life is what makes you take that decision. I understand the institution and that no one is above it, but one is also just here in passing."

The elder Hernandez also spoke about Gerardo ‘Zizinho’ dos Santos’ expressed disappointment. ‘Chicharito’ was one of the last players cut from the U-17 Mexican national team that eventually won the U-17 World Cup in Peru in 2005.

“It’s not easy to live a situation like that. I understand him as a father because in the moment he said what he felt, what could be seen and what he knew," Hernandez said.

"For one, you don’t know how it hurts to see your child suffer and it’s hard to see him as a player. To say that they know is easy. We lived it and it’s very hard.”

El Informador newspaper announced as well that Javier Hernandez would be joined by the entire family in England as he joins Manchester United.

Reports in the Mexican newspaper also say that Tomas Balcazar, a former Chivas and Mexican international and maternal grandfather of ‘Chicharito,’ would also make the move to England.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Whitman's "Dirge for Two Veterans" - Memorial Day 2010

I've been home from Iraq for two years now. Whitman's poem seems appropriate to remember those who've given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Dirge for Two Veterans

The last sunbeam
Lightly falls from the finished Sabbath,
On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,
Down a new-made double grave.

Lo, the moon ascending,
Up from the east the silvery round moon,
Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,
Immense and silent moon.

I see a sad procession,
And I hear the sound of coming full-keyed bugles,
All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding,
As with voices and with tears.

I hear the great drums pounding
And the small drums steady whirring,
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
Strikes me through and through.

For the son is brought with the father,
(In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell,
Two veterans son and father dropped together,
And the double grave awaits them.)

Now nearer blow the bugles,
And the drums strike more convulsive,
And the daylight o’er the pavement quite has faded,
And the strong dead-march enwraps me.

In the eastern sky up-buoying,
The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumined,
(‘Tis some mother’s large transparent face,
In heaven brighter growing.)

O strong dead-march you please me!
O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me!
O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial!
What I have I also give you.

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Erosion of Our Freedoms—the Supreme Court's Power and the City of Chicago vs. McDonald

Decades of poor decision-making and on-going trends in the U.S. Supreme Court have begun to erode our Constitutional freedoms! Why? Because there's been an abandonment of the separation of powers, namely the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government. The Justices have too much power. Where are the checks and balances?

Years ago, a professor of law at the University of Texas, Lino A. Graglia, had this to say about the abandonment of fundamental principles found in trends in the U.S. Supreme Court:

"Purporting merely to enforce the Constitution, the Supreme Court has for some thirty years usurped and exercised legislative powers that its predecessors could not have dreamed of, making itself the most powerful and important institution of government in regard to the nature and quality of life in our society…

"It has literally decided issues of life and death, removing from the states the power to prevent or significantly restrain the practice of abortion, and, after effectively prohibiting capital punishment for two decades, now imposing such costly and time-consuming restrictions on its use as almost to amount to prohibition.

"In the area of morality and religion, the Court has removed from both the federal and state government nearly all power to prohibit the distribution and sale or exhibition of pornographic materials… It has prohibited the states from providing for prayer or Bible-reading in the public schools.

"The Court has created for criminal defendants rights that do not exist under any other system of law—for example, the possibility of almost endless appeals with all costs paid by the state—and which have made the prosecution and conviction of criminals so complex and difficult as to make the attempt frequently seem not worthwhile. It has severely restricted the power of the states and cities to limit marches and other public demonstrations and otherwise maintain order in the streets and other public places." (as qtd by Ezra Taft Benson, The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, Deseret Book Company, SLC, Utah, 1986, 26-27).

Of this, the late ecclesiastical church leader and former Secretary or Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, wrote:

"To all who have discerning eyes, it is apparent that the republican form of government established by our noble forefathers cannot long endure once fundamental principles are abandoned. Momentum is gathering for another conflict—a repetition of the crisis of two hundred years ago. This collision of ideas is worldwide. Another monumental moment is soon to be born. …[W]ill men be free to determine their own course of action or must they be coerced?" (Ibid.)

Now, I'm not espousing, advocating or even encouraging any rise in conflict or physical battle. Violence to me, as a veteran of war, is horrible and disturbing. And yet, the mere idea and suggestion of some great rolling stone that is gathering momentum for yet another conflict on U.S. soil is not that far away.

I recently wrote to a local city leader who is listed on the Internet as being a Democrat. Years ago I registered as a Republican. Now, though I'm conservative, I view both parties corrupt. Nonetheless, just the mention of the D-word or the R-word, or the words "conservative" or "liberal" can divide a people as it's divided our nation unless we look past those things. We can and should have differences of opinion, but should we not automatically look at each other as brothers and sisters in the human race and not label ourselves—or view one anther—as positioned with and associated with the uncanny rulings and platform stances of one party or another? Yet, I must admit, I do—almost unconsciously. We think: oh, well, she must believe in this or that, which I'm opposed to. And, that might be the case!

The bottom line is we as a people must—MUST—uphold the inspired documents that made our nation and country what they are today. We cannot rule as the federal judge recently did in Wisconsin—that a national day of prayer is unconstitutional. That's absurd! Does she not know the history of the founding fathers? Has she ignored the references to the Divine in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence? Has she totally ignored the fact that our coins have "In God we trust" on them? Or that upon the highest point and spire of the Washington National Monument—the height of which no other building in DC can go above—has the Latin words of Laus Deo (Praise be to God)? Does this misled federal judge ignore the Almighty when in some future day when America is attacked again as it was on December 7, 1941 or on September 11, 2001 and say we can go it alone, without the help, guidance and inspiration of heaven? We need prayer. We need faith, hope and charity both today and tomorrow, whatever the horrific challenges, or conversely, the peaceful conditions we face.

Now, back to the Supreme Court and wacky rulings all over the country (e.g. the absurd rulings that have come from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals)…

The views of the First Amendment have been stretched to ignore the decent, honorable and civil. Going beyond anything lovely or praiseworthy, some have voted to uphold the crude, base and vulgar, claiming the "right" to free speech, while totally ignoring morality or virtue. What happens to our children? Who's protecting them? Even the FCC—unfortunately, paid for by you and I—has made changes in what words can be communicated over the airwaves and television sets that would have never been allowable 20 years ago. Have we forgotten decency? Have we traded in public morality for open debauchery? Have we forgotten God, choosing instead to profane His holy name, even by an acronym now made commonplace (e.g. OMG)? I suppose it would be easy to do when powerful judges make rulings and decisions like removing the Ten Commandments from any public place. Who would know that "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" is a commandment if the commandments are no longer studied, upheld or publicly displayed?

And what about any ruling making burning or desecrating the flag a legal act? I was recently considering the Marines who hoisted the flag at Iwo Jima. If we disregard the treasure of Old Glory and U.S. history—from Betsy Ross first flag to the flag that held through the night which Francis Scott Key beheld that blissful morning—then we ought to go live in Mexico, China, Russia or Cuba!

We've successfully removed God from public schools—that same God mentioned repeatedly in the words and documents of our own national heritage. How is it that this hijacking of our country's founding principles have occurred?!

How is it that some feel so powerfully to separate church and state that they, in actually, are in total opposition to anything moral or religion in nature? We've seen witness of this in the debates on defining what constitutes a family or what makes up a marriage—as if a man and a woman were not meant to be together? Or that somehow two people of the same gender could create children on their own? It goes against the logic of even every kindergartener!

And then, when religious organizations unite in support of the family, such as they did in California for Proposition 8, there's a vehement attempt by the minority few with loud, but powerful voices, to say that's against church and state. Pshaw!

Former Utah State Supreme Court Judge, obviously in opposite ilk to the aforementioned federal judge of Wisconsin, said of this plight,

"The greatest infringements of religious freedom occur when the exercise of religion collides with other powerful forces in society. Among the most threatening collisions in the United States today are (1) the rising strength of those who seek to silence religious voices in public debates, and (2) perceived conflicts between religious freedom and the popular appeal of newly alleged civil rights." ("Religious Freedom,"Transcript of Elder Dallin H. Oaks speech given at BYU-Idaho on 13 October 2009.)

Next to the First Amendment in level of importance is the Second Amendment.

What if the Supreme Court votes to uphold the outlandish 28-year old law imposed by the City of Chicago in the City vs. McDonald? The thoughts are sickening! Where is the right of an individual to protect himself? How is it possible that such a law has been upheld over the past three decades anyway? Why have the people stood for such a law? Have we forgotten the reason for the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights so much that the definition of what a militia means today outweighs what a militia meant—and how one was organized—back when the Second Amendment was written?

Recently, in a 5-day period there were 45 shootings within the City of Chicago. The violence and crime has been skyrocketing. I assure you it wasn't Mr. McDonald who cannot even own a handgun in his own home to protect himself! I assure you those shootings weren't done by anyone obeying the law. No, when you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns, and criminal activity—and the increase thereof—has shown that in every country where guns are outlawed crime has risen exponentially.

What if the Supreme Court votes to uphold Chicago in the City vs. McDonald? A continuation of the erosion of our inherent freedoms will continue unabated. I hope such a trend in decision-making and case law will cease and desist immediately. Nevertheless, the spirally, downward trend seems like it will not. Therefore, wise men—good, honest and wise men (and/or women as the case may be)—must be sought for positions of leadership, influence and power. If not, our Constitutional freedoms will slowly begin to erode even more, leaving the Constitution hanging by a thread.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Peace is Coming - Jon McNaughton

Great Idea for New Airport Security

It's rare that I open or even read forwarded "junk" mail, but I happened to stumble on this. I like it. I really like it. It gave me a good laugh. Here it goes:

Here's a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the airports. Have a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you.

It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of this crap about racial profiling. This method would eliminate a long and expensive trial. Justice would be quick and swift. Case closed!

This is so simple that it's brilliant. I can see it now: you're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system: "Attention standby passengers we now have a seat available on flight number..."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Final Inspection



The Marine stood and faced God,

Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining,

Just as brightly as his brass.


'Step forward now, Marine,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?'


The soldier squared his shoulders and said,

'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.

Because those of us who carry guns,

Can't always be a saint.


I've had to work most Sundays,

And at times my talk was tough.

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.


But, I never took a penny,

That wasn't mine to keep...

Though I worked a lot of overtime,

When the bills got just too steep.


And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God, forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.


I know I don't deserve a place,

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around,

Except to calm their fears


If you've a place for me here, Lord,

It needn't be so grand.

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand.


There was a silence all around the throne,

Where the saints had often trod.

As the Marine waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.


'Step forward now, Marine,

You've borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell.'


~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just one Cigarrette? Just one smoke in the plane? Please?

As a former Federal Air Marshal, I've witnessed someone who couldn't wait to landing to have a smoke. Smoking in flight is a felony, but -- if the "incident" was "just a cigarette" -- does this Qatari diplomat think he has full diplomatic immunity from skilled and alert air marshals who reportedly took him down with force and restraints?

Whatever the case, I'm sure he won't do that again!

More on the United Airlines flight 663 from DC to Denver

A reporter friend told me about the breaking news. I turned on the tube...

Latest word by AC-360: Federal Air Marshal responds. NORAD scrambles F-16s. Potential shoe bomber in mid-flight from DC to Denver is not an incident, just a "mistake" or an inappropriate "joke." Pshaw!I don't see that at all.

A low-level Qatari diplomat spends too much time in the lav.

Anderson Cooper said, "It's amazing in this day and age how quickly a small incident becomes a very big one."

I do not agree with that assessment at all. The crew and the Federal Air Marshals are not charlatans; they're professionals. There's a lot more to this story than is currently being reported. I'm sure of it. We'll learn more as time goes on.

Another Shoe Bomber????

CNN reporting incident on United 663 from Reagan to DIA, someone tried to light shoe on fire. As a former Federal Air Marshal and Iraqi war vet, I understand how difficult it is stopping a dedicated, suicide terrorist. Sadly, it's just a matter of time...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Brother in India




Check out his family travels here:
Discover, Share, Inspire

A Tribute to Bob Patterson


I recently learned that my dear friend and mentor, Bob Patterson, passed away.

I wrote this about him in my journal several months ago:

If there is one person that I could call my hero and want to emulate desperately, it would be my friend, Bob Patterson. I must confess I've tried to put my finger on exactly why I respect him so much. He is articulate and fun. He has a marvelous sense of humor. He's brilliant and optimistic. My friend has a special way of making me feel comfortable and special every time he communicates with me. He possesses a deep spiritual conviction and love emanates from his countenance. I think that just about sums it up why I admire him so greatly.

Bob's wife, Belva, was one of the sweetest, kindest and most tenderhearted women I believe I've ever associated with. He sent me a brief note not long ago to tell me that she had passed away after an acute battle with terminal lung cancer. My heart was softened with pity and love towards my hero. In the tough, melancholy days prior to her passing, when she was having great difficulty caring for herself and while he was struggling with debilitating cancer himself, he confided in me how much he was learning about what loving his spouse really meant.

In one of his many published writings, long before his own personal struggle with cancer or that of his wife's, he wrote: "There is something particularly sacred in the service of those who continue to work for others when there is very little strength, energy, or time left for them to give. As I've watched those around me struggle with life-changing and life-threatening illnesses, I've seen faith that continually inspires and strengthens my own." ("Millersville or BYU" in Finding God at BYU eds. S. Kent Brown, Kaye T. Hanson, James R. Kearl (Provo: The Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2001), 94-106.) My friend lived that first-hand in the final days of his sweet companion's passing.

Without a doubt, Bob Patterson, has a multitude of characteristics that I'd like to have and emulate. He is truly one of my greatest heroes.

Bob's obituary

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A five-minute talk to change the world - by Jeffrey Denning

I've been asked to speak for five minutes today in church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My topic: personal prayer.

Today is a special day for us in our church. We've invited our friends and neighbors. Four people, including one family, have agreed to come with our family today to visit. We are not that much different than other Christian denominations; we have a lot in common, and we want others to know more about our faith.

As I've pondered on what to speak about, I couldn't help but recall my time in Iraq. Hopefully everyone listening (or now that it's posted online, everyone reading the things I'll say) will be touched in their hearts enough to evoke positive change in their lives enough to bless their life individually and the life of their family (and posterity) for an unforeseen future. That is my hope and my prayer.

The experiences that I'm going to share are personal and sacred to me. I pray by posting these things online it will not be mocked. Indeed, the experience I'm going to share has changed me forever. Here is what I've written and plan on speaking about today, Sunday, March 14, 2010.


Ever poignantly, the famous military General, Douglas MacArthur, declared, "The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

Come Father's Day this June I'll have been home from Iraq for two years. It was there in "the cradle of civilization" that I learned more about what it means to be a father (and subsequently, a son) than what I could have ever learned anywhere else, or at any other time. My sufferings and trails faced there in Iraq refined me. They helped me become a better husband and a better father. My sufferings helped me lean to my own Father—the Father of our Spirits—our Heavenly Father, through the power of personal prayer.

According to the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, we do know that a young person’s developing concept of God centers on characteristics observed in that child’s earthly parents. (See “Parent-Child Relationships and Children’s Images of God, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Mar. 1997, 25–43.)

But I would submit that the weaknesses each of us have as Dad's doesn't equate even one iota of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father. Each man here, though created in the likeness and image of God, falls short of perfection. As Father's Day draws near, we could do more to develop our relationship with our own sons and daughters and try harder to accumulate characteristics of divine fatherhood.

Some were bereft of earthly fathers. Taken from him at a young age, my neighbor Sam, told me the tragic story of his youth. His dad died when Sam was only 15 years old. Yet Sam said to me, "There's nothing more important than family. My mom taught us that."

In Iraq, I lost a dear friend and a father of tiny children.

One of our full-time missionaries, Elder Rudd, lost his cousin over in Iraq. I was there at the time and learned about his cousin's misfortune. Only 24-years-old, a former Marine-turned contractor, he left a young wife and a baby boy not two years of age.

When considering the pain of separation, whether by death, abandonment or sometimes the result of bitter divorce, I personally know what it's like to not have a father around as a boy who desperately needed one—someone to play ball with, someone to fish with and someone to love.

In writing to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul observed of the Savior, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8)
If the Savior suffered so, we should give thanks to suffer likewise.

But Jesus was not without His Father—though his step-father God trusted and loved, perhaps more than any other man considering Joseph would raise His Only Begotten Son in the flesh.

Jesus knew from a young age where to turn for companionship, nurture and love: heavenward. In the temple, at 12 years of age, he went to do his Father's business. He taught his disciples how to commune with their Father. He said to Mary upon his rising from the tomb, "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God" (John 20:17)

It has been said that prayer is the passport to peace (Pres. Thomas S. Monson). One of the Father's of our Nation, Abraham Lincoln, said, "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." In times of severe anguish and pain, most every mortal turns heavenward, searching desperately for comfort and peace. Even the soldier axiom goes, "There's no such thing as atheists in foxholes."

In my own desperate circumstances, with a lovely wife and four tiny children (at the time) home in America, separated from them by war and conflict, I leaned to my Heavenly Father, the One sure refuge for peace in a troubled world.

During one particularly troubling day after nearly a year spent in Iraq, living in the hell associated with war and conflict, I was walking alone on the dusty roads silently pleading for help, comfort and peace. My prayers had, at that time, become much more fervent. Being in an agony, I was compelled to pray more earnestly (compare to Luke 22:44).

As I pleaded with our Heavenly Father, I felt an overwhelming feeling burning deep into my heart and mind. I knew and comprehended that He was listening to me—that He could walk beside me and hold my hand, as a little child needing his Father's loving guidance. As I watched my swaying hand, I learned more about our divine heritage than I ever had previously. We were created in His image! (See Genesis 1:26-27)

The romantic-era poet, Lord Byron described, “Yet in my lineaments they trace / Some features of my father’s face.” (Lord Byron's couplet, Parisina.) His hand was in likeness of mine, and mine like His. I comprehended and knew in my heart that God, our Father, has a body of flesh and bone as tangible as man's, though perfect and immortal. I realized more deeply then than ever that I could speak with Him as a man speaks with another man, face to face.

God is our Father—our Father in Heaven. I believe that when we reunite after this life is over it will surprise us just how familiar His face is to us.

We are indeed God's children. As such, we are brothers and sisters with a divine heritage and a celestial destiny. Though we look different and come from different parts of the world, we are all created of the same spiritual DNA. If for that reason alone—knowing we are children of a loving Heavenly Father—we should never give up and always have hope.

Our Father in Heaven loves us more than we can comprehend. He is anxious to hear from us, both in times of prosperity and peace, as well as in times of darkness, trouble and conflict. I know He lives. I know He hears our prayers. Our prayers are never ignored.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Federal Air Marshal Problems...Again

Stay tuned, there are plenty of problems with government managers. EEO complaints, retaliation, etc.

It's pretty sad there are unethical, unfair and cruel people. What's worse is when those kinds of people become managers of others. Bullies, tyrants and power mongers destroy teams and collapse teamwork. On a macro-level, bullies who've lusted for power and control have run totalitarian regimes. Tyrants have killed in order to preserve their own evil deeds or maintain their own fiefdoms.

On a micro-level, well...life is difficult for anyone who works for those types of people. I know the feeling well. Those types of individuals exist in every organization. But it was my time spent in the Federal Air Marshal Service, that solidified what I would title a forthcoming book I'd write. Two simple, but powerful words: Leaders Wanted.

Saving Lives...A Must Watch Video!

http://www.nragive.com/ringoffreedom/nr_j0199_landing.html

A must watch video. Ollie North talks about the troops. Despite the things you wake up and consider today on this great holiday, we're still at war...a xenophobic, racially biased war as well as a war against flesh and blood.

God grant each of us more compassion, patience and love. Only through charity, the pure love of Christ, can wars cease and fighting end. But charity cannot be one-sided.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obama Wants More Air Marshals ASAP

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/air-marshal-surge-race-time/story?id=9493323

This won't help. The Federal Air Marshal Service did a disservice from the get-go. Air marshals don't have the tactical advantage. They are the last option. They must rely on folks like the TSA. While there are good people in every organization, I was perpetually worried that I had to rely on the TSA to watch my back.

More planes will get blown apart. It's just a matter of time.

9th Circuit and Oregon Judicial Appellate are CRAZY

Yes, the 9th Circuit is a bit different. As far as Oregon goes, well, I received the following email today:

This makes things very interesting in the State of Oregon.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (Portland Metro) recently sent
out a memo regarding a resisting case (State v. Oliphant) and the
affect on Oregon law enforcement. In essence the ruling says:

"An arrestee may defend himself against a police officer's use or
imminent use of force if the arrestee believes, as much as a reasonable
person in his position would believe, that the officer's use or
imminent use of force exceeds the force reasonably necessary to make
the arrest.

Oregon effectively is now the only state that gives a suspect charged
with Resisting Arrest (ORS 162.315) an affirmative defense that they
were defending themselves against what they reasonably believed was an
actual or imminent unlawful use of force by a Police Officer.
Accompanying charges including Assault on a Public Safety Officer will
likely be dismissed if the argument stands."

It is sometimes fun to be a cop in Oregon.or the 9th Circuit for that
matter. The full case can be viewed at the below link:

http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S056404.htm


Later, after I posted this, a buddy wrote:


If you can open it has in one of the paragraphs that a person has the right to resist a unlawful arrest.


State v. Brannon - resisting arrest first requires an arrest :: South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog
http://www.southcarolinacriminaldefenseblog.com/2008/07/state_v_brannon_resisting_arre.html

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goverment Power

When the government fears the people, you have liberty; when the people fear the government, you have tyranny.

—Thomas Jefferson