Category Archives: Current Events

Ferguson – An SOS for Americans of Every Ethnic Descent

Sharpton-Race-Card

Al Sharpton, Racial Ambulance Chaser

AMERICA ON TRIAL

In a Los Angeles Times article, entitled “In Ferguson, a race to be wrong”, Jonah Goldberg writes:

“The events in Ferguson, Mo., have launched a familiar spectacle: the race to be wrong first. … (L)egions of too-often interchangeable activists, commentators and reporters … have convinced themselves that we know exactly what happened, or at least all we need to know. Al Sharpton, with decades of racial ambulance chasing under his belt, insists that ‘America is on trial’ in Ferguson.”

Although I think Goldberg is dead right here, including his characterization of Sharpton, in a way, I agree with Sharpton’s statement. However, I think it’s more accurate to say “Americans are on trial in Ferguson”. No doubt, the implication of Sharpton’s statement is that America is on trial regarding how one ethnic group or members of that group, namely African-Americans, are treated by the rest of the nation. To the contrary, I see Ferguson as a trial; maybe even a final exam, to determine our willingness and thus our ability, to stand together as Americans, regardless of ethnic descent.

CLOSING OLD WOUNDS
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Filed under community, Current Events, Justice, race, The News, United States

Keeping Our Eyes Above The Waves

AN EXCEPTIONAL LEADER

Over the past few days, as we’ve watched Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald S. Johnson step in to take over security operations in the midst of this past week’s civil unrest in Ferguson, MO, it’s become obvious that he is a truly exceptional person. The immediate good news in this, as reported in a related Washington Post article, is that Johnson’s first day on the job resulted in “Hugs, kisses and a night of peace (replacing) tear gas and unrest.” The more long-term and more challenging part of this is that Captain Johnson is, in fact, exceptional. If all of our nation’s leaders would emulate Johnson’s conduct, thus making him the rule rather than the exception, our country could be vastly improved.

AN EXEMPLARY LEADER

A great way to begin learning how to go about this emulation would be by looking at statements Captain Johnson made in Friday’s (August 14, 2014) press conference and most importantly, by looking at his responses to the questions he received. The comments that I found to be most meaningful in this regard are outlined as follows: Continue reading

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Filed under community, Current Events, faith, leadership, Making a Difference, race

First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People?!

THEIR ULTIMATE GOAL

Recently, in a Fox News Special Report All-Star panel discussion I heard a panelist use the phrase “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People”. That discussion focused on the persecution Christians are experiencing in a part of Iraq now under the control of the jihadist group knows as ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – a/k/a ISIS). Specifically, ISIL has given Christians (who have been living in that area for 2,000 years, pre-dating Muslims by 600 years) an ultimatum to convert to Islam or get out and/or be fined and/or face death. Since I wasn’t familiar with the Saturday people/Sunday people phrase, I researched it and I was embarrassed to learn that it’s been in use for quite awhile. In fact, it’s found in the title of a best-selling book, by Lela Gilbert, published in 2012. The following excerpt from Ms. Gilbert’s Weekly Standard blog helped me begin to understand this phrase and its background:

Christian house in Mosul

“‘First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People.’ Such graffiti can sometimes be found in Muslim neighborhoods in the Middle East. The ‘Saturday People’ are, of course, Jews, today nearly gone from Muslim lands. Now the ‘Sunday people’—Christians— are in the crosshairs, and they, too, are fleeing at an alarming rate. Both religions are unwelcome in many Muslim-majority lands for reasons of Islamist ideology—the declaration of jihad, or holy war, against infidels.” Continue reading

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Filed under Christians, Current Events, The News, United States

Doing What’s Right

teddy-roosevelt

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Recently, I noticed this quote from our 26th President displayed at the entrance to an elementary school Fifth Grade classroom. As I read it, my immediate thought was, “I wish that was a common attitude with today’s politicians.”

Although “Teddy” Roosevelt is honored as one of America’s best presidents, I recognize that even he, most likely, didn’t always live up to the ideal indicated by his “do what’s right” quote. But, at least, “do what’s right” was one of Roosevelt’s stated ideals. And, surely, that ideal was shared by many of his political contemporaries. Likewise, I’m confident that this was an ideal commonly held by American politicians prior to the T.R. era, going back to the founding of the U.S. Even as recently as the turn of the current century, at least some politicians held to this ideal, as indicated by the well-known signature line of Former Congressman J.C. Watts Jr., who said,jc watts

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

Today it seems that with one political issue after another it is sadly evidenced that, most often, the “do what’s right” ideal isn’t in play at all. Rather than belabor this by reviewing every applicable issue I can think of (Associated Press phone records scandal, ATF “Fast and Furious” scandal, Forsaking the liberty our sacrifice gained for the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo prisoner exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, IRS political targeting scandal, James Rosen phone and email records scandal, Syria foreign policy fiasco, Ukraine foreign policy fiasco, Veterans Affairs scandal, etc.), let me illustrate my point by using details related to just one of today’s hottest political issues … The investigation of the terrorist raid on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. Continue reading

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Filed under America’s founding ideals, character, community, Current Events, ideals, Judeo-Christian values, politics

… And For The People?

Barack Obama, Joe Biden

Yesterday, the Obama administration and the Democrat party, in general, took what many in the press are calling a “victory lap” in celebration of reaching their goal of 7 million Obamacare signups prior to the midnight 3/31/14 deadline. As I saw this unfold, my immediate question was, “Whose victory is being celebrated here?”

Since the “Hollywood elite” are most often found alongside Obama, cheering every claim, I was a bit surprised to hear related cynical remarks come from Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon. However, I thought Fallon offered a pretty realistic perspective when he said,

“That’s right, the White House said that it surpassed its goal for people enrolled in ObamaCare. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you make something mandatory and fine people if they don’t do it. And then keep extending the deadline for months. It’s like a Cinderella story. It’s just a beautiful thing. You make everyone do it. Isn’t it great how many people do it? But if you still haven’t enrolled, you might have to pay a penalty called the individual shared responsibility payment, which is 1% of your salary. Then Americans said, ‘Man, good thing I don’t have a job.’”

Fallon

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Filed under Big Government, Current Events, Healthcare, politics, Presidents

When Did The Evening News Become The 24/7 Conjecture?

GREAT ASCENT WITH GREATER DESCENT

There has been much marvelous advancement in broadcast journalism since I came into this world. At that time, we only had a console radio in our home. When I was a toddler, we got our first black-and-white TV but we could only get reception from one local TV station. By the time I was old enough to start paying attention to the news, we were able to receive broadcasts from local affiliates of the three major TV networks, as well as a weak signal from an independent station in another city. In the past 50 to 60 years, technological improvement has been phenomenal and the sources to choose from have increased by several orders of magnitude. However, as has been glaringly obvious lately, along the way, a key element of the news has been frighteningly perverted, if not lost. That key element is, simply, the reporting of the news. “Back in the day”, you could count on the fact that when you tuned in to news programs, like The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, you would just get the known details of that day’s current events. That seemed worthwhile and productive. Today, to a great degree, news reporting has become lost in a nearly endless supply of conjecture. This seems, at least counterproductive, if not dangerously destructive.

NO VALUE

The current coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is, by far, the clearest example of this decline in broadcast journalism. I think Politico summarized the “not worthwhile” aspects of this well with an article entitled “Rush Limbaugh slams plane media ‘show’”. I’m not a “Ditto Head”. I very rarely listen to Limbaugh these days. But, I think he hit the nail on the head in saying,

“We’ve got anchors and anchorettes who don’t know beans about even why an airplane flies. They couldn’t explain the concept of air pressure differential or lift to you if their jobs depended on it. They go get guests, and nobody knows what happened here, so you got a bunch of people on TV who just want face time.”

DIMINISHED VALUE

Beyond Limbaugh’s “not worthwhile” points, there have been many instances where the coverage of this story has fallen into the category of “counterproductive, if not dangerously destructive”. Some of the current theories on why this flight has gone missing include:

  • Some incident led to the crew, or perhaps all on board, being rendered unconscious. The plane continued to fly until it ran out of fuel and it went down, most likely at sea.
  • Terrorism – The plane went down in a failed attempt.
  • Terrorism – The plane landed, to be used in a future attempt.
  • Hijacking – For some cargo on board.
  • Hijacking – For some person/s on board.
  • Crew suicide.
  • Some nation’s military mistakenly shot it down.
  • Struck by a meteor.
  • Taken by space aliens.
  • Sucked into a black hole.

ADDED VALUE

Now, I won’t say that none of this speculation has been interesting to me. It has, and I understand that it’s interesting to others too. But, beyond entertainment value, what does it accomplish. I don’t see it adding to solving the mystery. With the resources that our nation and dozens of other nations have dedicated to solving this mystery, I assume that it will be solved, if possible. The current press coverage adds nothing to that and in fact, it can detract by making it necessary for those seeking a solution to divert their attention in response to the press. Also, publicizing weaknesses that could be exploited by terrorists or hijackers or the suicidal doesn’t aid the experts doing the searching. It’s more likely to result in encouraging others with ill intent to carry out their evil plans. And, if I was among those who buy into meteor or space alien or black hole theories, I wouldn’t need the encouragement of the press to put on my tin-foil hat and head for my bunker in Northern Idaho. Moreover, I see none of this as bringing comfort to the loved ones of the crew and passengers who were aboard Flight 370. In my view, our society would be much better served by the media if they would limit themselves to, simply, reporting the known details of current events and applying enough true journalism to assure that all with related responsibility are held to account. If that was the case, I’d be completely comfortable in knowing what’s going on in the world and that all that can be done about a particular occurrence is being done. Furthermore, the resources that are currently being wasted on conjecture could be turned towards other issues that are just as important, if less titillating.

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Filed under Current Events, Journalism, media, society, The News, TV

How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go

From: Trevin Wax

Piers-Morgan-cnn-debut-007-300x180Just once, I’d like to see a TV interview go more like this:

Host: You are a Christian pastor, and you say you believe the Bible, which means you are supposed to love all people.

Pastor: That’s right.

Host: But it appears to me that you and your church take a rather unloving position when it comes to gay people. Are homosexuals welcome to come to your church?

Pastor: Of course. We believe that the gospel is a message relevant for every person on the planet, and we want everyone to hear the gospel and find salvation in Jesus Christ. So at our church, our arms are outstretched to people from every background, every race, every ethnicity and culture. We’re a place for all kinds of sinners and people with all kinds of problems.

Host: But you said there, “We’re a place for sinners.” So you do believe that homosexuality is sinful, right?

Pastor: Yes, I do.

Host: So how do you reconcile the command to love all people with a position on homosexuality that some would say is radically intolerant?

Pastor: (smiling) If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe! I believe that a teenage guy and girl who have sex in the backseat of a pick-up are sinning. The unmarried heterosexual couple living down the street from me is sinning. In fact, any sexual activity that takes place outside of the marriage covenant between a husband and wife is sinful. What’s more, Jesus takes this sexual ethic a step further and goes to the heart of the matter. That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die. Jesus died to save lustful, homo- and heterosexual sinners and transform our hearts and minds and behavior. Because He died for me, I owe Him my all. And as a follower of Jesus, I’m bound to what He says about sex and morality.

Host: But Jesus didn’t condemn homosexuality outright, did He?

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Filed under Current Events, Government, Homosexuality