New Year’s resolution rant…..

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? I didn’t necessarily make any resolutions specifically. However, I believe in the turning of the page especially when it comes to dates and eras. Consequently, I have incorporated many small changes across several different aspects of my life. Now I understand that, technically, this last weekend was not much different than many weekends preceding it. And that Saturday (2011) was not different than Friday (2010). But we are in a new year and that is always a good opportunity to change for the better.

There is a conventional wisdom at this time of year that is beginning to gain momentum — that resolutions shouldn’t even be made. Most resolutions fail so why jump on the resolution feel-good bandwagon when most people fall off before MLK day. And the arguments seem to hold some merit on the outside. One, don’t make resolutions and set yourself up for failure. Instead, just sneak the change in privately so if and when you fail it is no real big deal. You didn’t really commit to the change so you didn’t really fail. Two, why do you have to wait until the beginning of the year to make a change you want to make.

I agree with both these premises at face value. However, where I have a problem is that people are buying into the “not make resolutions” wisdom and equating it to not making any changes at all. There is no attempt to change; no effort to better oneself; no positive adjustments to be made. And while I can be as swept away as the next guy at the speed of change in our lives today, we must face the inevitable fact that change is the status quo. And we, as God’s creatures, are meant to change. Meant to be born, be supported, be raised, to learn, to grow, to break away, to be independent, to prosper, to help others, to lead, to give back, to slow down, to rely upon others, to share our wisdom, to forgive, to mentor, to sage, to die.

And if you don’t make any resolutions to change and better yourself from the dawn of your life to the sunset of your death, you aren’t doing what God has designed us to do. So get out there and resolve to better yourself. And when you fail, learn the lesson, and resolve again. Even if it is April.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

It’s got my vote…..

A friend sent this along to me. I can’t think of a reason to disagree. Feel free to cut and paste and shamelessly steal/plagiarize.

I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Even though we disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends. My friend and neighbor wants to promote a “Congressional Reform Act of 2010.” It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I know many of you will say “this is impossible.” Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval rating of any entity in Government. 12% !!! Now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress – the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes

**********************************
Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits.

12 years only, one of the possible options below..

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Huh?!?…..

So let me get this straight.

Commercial pilots have the option to be armed in the cockpit and can fly the plane into a building any time they want to, but they still have to be screened at TSA security checkpoints?!?!?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Freedom…..

It has been my tradition that, in addition to flying the American flag on the flag pole in front of the house, I also hang flags from each of the telephone poles that parallel the driveway. I put them up on Memorial Day weekend and take them down on Labor day weekend. With this being Memorial Day weekend, putting up the flags was one of the tasks on my long weekend “to do” list.

As I attached the cleats to each of the poles and respectfully hung our nation’s beautiful banner of freedom, I contemplated many things. But the one that stood out and prompted this essay was “freedom”. But it wasn’t the normal type of freedom that we normally attribute to America. It’s not the “do what I want” freedom or the freedom associated with choice and libery. I believe it is a different kind of freedom — a forgotten freedom that we often overlook. It is the freedom to fail.

The freedom to suck.
The freedom of bad choices.
The freedom to fall flat on your face.

All of these freedoms and others associated with the flip side of the freedom coin are just as important as the ones we enjoy and hold dear. However, like the esteemed freedoms like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, these other freedoms are being infringed upon by our government and society. We eschew accountability and responsibility like they were embarrassing clothing or music fads, not the time honored virtues taught by our parents, our churches, our Scouts or our schools. We have replaced them with excuses, finger pointing, blaming and scapegoating. And consequently we have tried to manipulate the results when we don’t like them. Whether it is bailing out a car company, a bank, Wall Street or an entire state, we placate those who have the most power or money or those who make the most noise or those who are looking after themselves. Thoughts have shifted from “what is the right thing to do” to “what is the most I can get for myself”. We have completely ignored the laws of the economy and the balance of society. And rarely do those actions “fix” the problem. They usually just “kick the can down the road” or at least beyond the next election cycle. I guess what we have now is the freedom to make things worse.

Long live the freedom to fail!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Classy…..

Prior to the Superbowl commercial watching, there was all sorts of uproar from the Anti-Lifers (my description for those who call themselves “Pro-Choice”) about a planned commercial airing during the Superbowl. This ad features Tim Tebow with his mom. What is so threatening about that? Go check it out for yourself.

Honestly, I don’t know what all the fuss was about. Anti-Lifers need to get away from having their panties in a wad. And while I am on my soap box, why don’t “Pro-Choice” folks ever emphasize the “choice” several months prior when conception is occurring? Why is it always a “choice” about killing an innocent life?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

WARNING – long held back rant…..

Since 9-11,…..actually since the Islamic terror attacks of the 70′s and 80′s, I have tried to understand what is going on when it comes to the Middle East and Islamic violence. While the cold war with the Soviet Union characterized the baby boomer’s generational foe, Islam and the Middle East is the generational foe for almost everyone after — Gen Xers, Gen Yers and probably my kids too. From the early 70′s hijackings to the Iran hostages to the Beirut bombings to the Palenstinian uprising to the late 90′s and 9/11 nationless binLaden cowards, we have been scourged with a plague of psychotic fanatics who WANT YOU — yes! I said YOU — dee, eee, aaa, dee, DEAD!!!!!

You know how after you buy a car (or if you are looking for one), you start to see that car on the road more often than before? Well, within the past day or two I have been coming across quite a few challenging articles, posts and material that are rebutting the apologist Islamists. Some are questioning the media and public perception that Islam is a “peaceful” religion. Others are outright calling it out onto the carpet. It is all good information to know since these fanatics are our enemies.

It reminds me of one of the scenes from the original Terminator where Sgt Reese, (Michael Biehn’s character) is trying to convince Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton’s character) of the seriousness of the situation. (42 min 45 seconds into the movie.) He yells at her “Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop — EVER — until you are dead!” If you watch her expression, it takes her a while to process that information. She slowly changes paradigms from a trusting “I didn’t do anything wrong” regular civilian living her own life into a soldier willing to do whatever it takes to stop the evil. That, my friends, is what we each must do. And sooner rather than later. The sooner we, as a nation, realize this mindset, the sooner we are on our way to victory.

Click on the links below. They are interesting reading. I will be adding as I come across material, which at this pace recently, will be a lot. Props to Maggie’s Farm blog — http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/ — and Ex-Donkey — http://ex-donkey.mu.nu/ — where some of these links came from.

Western Muslim’s racist violence against women — http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=20646

Why are non-radical Muslims silent? — http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=122105F

A long term soldiers view of Islam — http://www.willisms.com/archives/2005/12/pundit_roundtab_9.html

Wed, 12/28 post at Maggie’s Farm — http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/

The religion of peace — http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot com

Private property rights threatened…..

Back at the end of June, I wrote about the judicial branch’s lame decision on property rights (covered here — http://www.aslowerpace.net/?p=1715). That was indeed a sad day. However, today we have an opportunity to do a little something about it. I am on the “Lost Liberty Hotel’s” — http://www.freestarmedia.com/index.html — email newsletter list and was just informed that debate on the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 4128) is going on right now (CSPAN if you care) in Congress.

Now I’ve never called my congressman. I’ve written a few emails but never actually called or written a real letter. Well, the combination of me being pissed off enough over the possibility of my private property being more easily confiscated along with the ease of contacting my congressman — look up yours here — http://www.house.gov/ — prompted me to make my first call to a politician. And if you believe in securing your hard earned property, I encourage you to take the 2 minutes (literally) and pick up the phone to make a difference.

If you would like the “Lost Libery Hotel” email I received, drop me a note and I’ll forward it on to you.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Interesting…..

Here’s something that didn’t make our liberal US media.

Beheaded Indonesia schoolgirls — Google search — http://www.google.com/search?hs=iSF&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=beheaded+Indonesia+schoolgirls&btnG=Search

As well as here — http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,173913,00.html

As of 10pm Eastern Saturday night, Fox News and online news Yahoo were the only ones to pick up the story. ABC also did, but it was their Australian affiliate. Quite a few others did but their were either foreign or not mainstream.

Here’s the whole article

FOX News CountryWatch: Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Unidentified assailants attacked a group of high school girls on Saturday in Indonesia’s tense province of Central Sulawesi, (search) beheading three and seriously wounding a fourth, police said.

The students from a private Christian high school were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota (search) subdistrict on their way to class, police Maj. Riky Naldo said. The rural area is close to the provincial capital of Poso, about 1,000 miles northeast of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

He said the heads of the three dead girls were found several miles from their bodies.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation. But Central Sulawesi has a roughly equal number of Muslims and Christians. The province on Sulawesi island was the scene of a bloody sectarian war in 2001-2002 that killed around 1,000 people from both communities.

At the time, beheadings, burnings and other atrocities were common.

A government-mediated truce ended the conflict in early 2002 but since then, there have been a series of bomb attacks and assassinations targeting Christians. A market attack in the predominantly Christian town of Poso killed 22 people in May.

Christian leaders have repeatedly criticized the authorities in Jakarta for allegedly not doing enough to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The Christian-Muslim conflict in Sulawesi was an extension of a wider sectarian war in nearby Maluku archipelago in which up to 9,000 people died between 1999 and 2002.

Soon after it erupted in 1999, the Maluku conflict intensified with the arrival of volunteers belonging to Laskar Jihad (search), a newly created militia from Indonesia’s main island of Java that was supported by hardline elements in the security forces.

Analysts and diplomats accused senior army commanders of funding and training the militia, which was hurriedly disbanded following the terrorist attacks on the tourist island of Bali in 2002 that killed more than 200 people including 88 foreigners. Some former militiamen are believed to have moved to Poso.

Seems the liberal media is so quick to point out how the West is so intolerant of Muslim beliefs and customs. However, when the tables are turned, the story is ignored. Anyway, it’s very interesting especially with this heavily advertised special on the History Channel tomorrow night — http://www.thehistorychannel.com/crusades/

One question…..nah, I think I’ll save it for another post.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A little less America…..

I believe last week’s Supreme Court decision on the confiscation of private property was a pivotal point in American history because of the usurped power of the average American. We are not as “free” as we think we are. But then again, we have been sliding down this slippery slope for a while now and probably don’t have the gumption to fight it. We would rather be a “kept” people rather than a people who fight for what’s right (see Wednesday’s post on American pussies). I remember a quote that describes a cycle that goes something like:

Revolution leads to independence
which leads to freedom
which leads to opportunity
which leads to prosperity which leads to wealth
which leads to comfort
which leads to sloth
which leads to apathy
which leads to weakness
which leads to reliance
which leads to submission
which leads to oppression
which leads to revolution.

(If someone has the real quote that I tried to convey above, please email it to me.)

I will also quote Thomas Jefferson:

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

People, I believe we have arrived at that point. Short of impeaching the justices who made the majority decision, we are now at the mercy of the judicial branch. In so many aspects of American life, fights that were in the legislative or executive branches have been back-doored to the judicial branch with successful regularity. For example, take California’s Prop 187 which intended to address the swelling costs of illegal immigration. Someone has to pay and the regular California citizen didn’t want it to be them, as was evident in the poll’s victory margin (see http://www.townhall.com/columnists/terencejeffrey/tj20030827.shtml or http://www.ccir.net/REFERENCE/187-History.html). And now we have a private property ruling that allows big bullies — cities, governments and corporations — to mow over the little guy. That puts you and me in the crosshairs. You might not think any of your property or possessions are at risk — that this “doesn’t affect me”. But the minute you let this happen to someone, it can happen to anyone. Luckily, someone has more foresight than I do…..or judge Souter. See this post at Ex-Donkey or the original link here. It is just brilliant!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

America: the land of…..

While I consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool red-blooded American — Mom, apple pie, the whole nine yards — I have a real concern for the direction of this country. Some recent observations intersected to one of those “ah-ha” times and became the seeds of this tirade. I have determined that America has become a bunch of pussies. Let me explain.

I posted on Monday that we visited the Frankfort Cemetery and walked among the gravestones. It was incredibly interesting to piece together the history, especially those families that were hit hard by losses from the wars of our history. There were family plots that had multiple young sons whose deceased dates were between 1941 and 1945 — probably sacrificing their lives in WWII. There were others from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, the War of 1812, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. The main veteran memorial at the cemetery listed all the known Kentuckians who had lost their lives fighting for what they believed in and protecting their country.

Now let me digress a moment to say that I fully support our current troops that are doing the same thing as you read this — fighting for what they believe in and protecting their country. (For a civilian view into the Iraqi war zone, see Christian’s blog.) We all tend to get caught up in our little lives letting things like screwed up drive-thru orders and cell phone drivers throw us into a tizzy. But most of us really don’t know what a bad day is. A bad day is losing your squad buddy to a sniper bullet or watching innocent children fall victim to a roadside bomb. Most of us really have no room to complain about our pathetic lives. My hats off to all current service men and women who are right now at this moment risking it all so I can sit here and type blather in my air conditioned house. Which is a good transition point.

While walking around the Frankfort Cemetery it was quite hot and humid. We’ve had a bout of very hot, humid and rainless weather for the last two weeks. The ground is hard and cracked. You can cut the air. The one or two showers we got Tuesday (the first in two weeks) didn’t help much to cool things off and only added to the thick humidity. Kentuckians have all been saying that we shouldn’t be getting this weather until August. Luckily, we have A/C and the pool to retreat to. But to look at some of those headstones, there were dates of late 1700′s and early 1800′s. Way before air conditioning had been invented. Before refrigerators, before many of the modern conveniences we take for granted every day. There were people here settling the countryside, not only at great personal inconvenience — lack of coolness, lack of heat, lack of motorized tools to til and harvest the land, lack of power tools to build a cabin — but they also risked their personal safety against hostile Indians and wildlife. These were very tough people and I don’t know if many around today would hack it in this hostile environment devoid of Starbucks.

The above realization that frontier life back then was very difficult merged with a headline I saw in the newspaper that morning about our involvement in Iraq. Rumsfeld was saying that it will take years to quell the insurgency and that threw many in a tizzy. Senators want a “safe” timetable of when we are pulling out, “is it all worth it?”, “why didn’t we plan better?”. This Monday morning quarterbacking was too much. Here, men (I use that word loosely) paid yearly by the taxpayers more than most people will make that year…..or the next few, sit in pinstripe suits in an air conditioned government building having been chauffeured there in a taxpayer paid limo peppering questions like the person asking a Trivial Pursuit question with the answers on the back. Do they read history? Like our history of standing up to tyrants? And winning? Like our history of rebuilding countries whose ass we kicked. I’m almost half inclined to let the United States kick my ass so I can then be rebuilt into an economic powerhouse like Japan, Germany or South Korea. How about our history of sticking with something one hundred percent until the mission is accomplished? WWII took almost 4 years of grueling conflict to win. And that was after 3 years of sideline support beforehand. Politicians want to point to Vietnam. But had we thrown our weight 100% behind that and not let the politicians draw lines and determine objectives, we’d have won that too (and Vietnam would be selling us good cars because we’d have rebuilt their country). Wars need to be run by military experts. Not politicians. Not the President. And certainly not public opinion. Because today’s public is more concerned (and educated) about their Starbucks latte than they are about international affairs.

Part of this is the MTV generation that has the micro-attention span. Couple that with the last several decades of instant gratification and you have a bunch of wishy-washy Me generation consumerist voters who waft at every political wind that blows. So few have the dedication, sacrifice and selflessness to do the right thing whether it comes to themselves, their family, their friends or their community. How, then, can we expect the best thing for our country? And then add in the political correctness movement just for good measure. “We don’t want to offend anyone”. “Everyone is the same” (not equal – there’s a difference). “It’s just easier to water everything down so as to not make waves”. I don’t pretend to have the answers. But I do know that while we might be the military and economic superpower, our people are getting soft inside. Whether it’s laziness, apathy, self-centeredness or ignorance, something has to change if we are to keep this country great. Because once the people go soft, the rest of the country is to follow. Our country is the sum of it’s people.

All I know is that while the early settlers who were the bedrock of this country did not have cars or electricity or running water or the internet or Happy Meals or power anything, they were strong as hell. If we had to fight a revolution with the general public and people we have today, we’d still be paying taxes to the queen and driving on the wrong side of the road.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net