December 30, 2008

Happy New Year To All

Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things HAPPEN.
~Peter Marshall

December 26, 2008

With Liberty And Justice For All


Christmas is over, and the hustle and bustle are over for awhile.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, filled with peace and happiness, and not too much stress.

In hopping around, from blog to blog, I found that many did, but many didn't, and some didn't bother to mention it, good or bad.

I know that there was too much uncertainty about the financial collapse, for most to really relax enough to enjoy the season.

A lot of it was not so much the concern about the lack of gifts they were able to give, but whether or not they would still have a job in the coming months, or even weeks.

I tried to get into the feeling of the true meaning of the season--that being about peace on earth, good will toward all men. I tried to think about hope, and a promise of better things to come, for all people. I tried, but I didn't succeed all that well.

There is just too much uncertainty about too many things,the main one being the welfare and well-being of our country, and its freedoms, which to me, seem to be in jeopardy.

Some have visited and read this blog, and liked it a lot, but that was as long as I was writing about insignificant, or neutral, subjects. Now, many of those same people think of me as some kind of doomsday prophet, or a closed-minded, conservative, far-right "Christianist"..and how is that for substituting a word that means a lot to a lot of people in this country? I'm just a simple woman, but I've always just thought of myself as being a Christian.

For the life of me, I cannot understand the ones spewing hatefulness toward anyone who believes in traditional moral values, and wanting the same for our country. They think that we are the ones who are being detrimental to the progress of our nation, because we don't welcome the changes which go against our very natures. One doesn't really have to be a Christian to find many of the changes offensive, because some of them go against Nature, itself.

I really can't understand anyone proclaiming to be a devout Christian being on the side of those spouting hate and irreverence toward anything and everything pertaining to God, and His precepts, to the extent that it becomes blasphemous, but I've come across a few of them, recently, doing just that.

It seems that we are fast approaching the place, where to proclaim to be a genuine Christian brings scorn, but if you choose to practice another religion, many allowances are made to assure that you are not offended, or denied your right to practice your beliefs.

A case in point, involves a Muslim woman in Douglasville, Georgia, who refused to remove her scarf at a courthouse security checkpoint:

Ga. Woman Jailed Over Head Scarf

To anyone using common sense it is understandable to be required to do that, in light of the massacre which took place in the courthouse in Atlanta, during the escape of someone being taken into court for a hearing, for which he recently received a life sentence.

Atlanta courthouse gunman avoids death sentence

You would certainly think that it would be a reasonable request, but now it looks like the rules are going to be changed, at least for certain ones.

The judge and officers trying to uphold the rules enacted to ensure safety for the people are now going to have to undergo diversity sensitivity training, after several Islamic groups, the NAACP, and the ACLU got involved:

Georgia: Police to get sensitivity training after arrest of head scarf wearer

I'm wondering if any organizations, or the ACLU will be coming to this woman's aid:

Lowe's Accused of Firing Woman Over Xmas Pin

I think I can say with certainty that it won't be the ACLU. I didn't see them trying to uphold the rights of Christians wanting to display anything to do with their faith this Christmas..did you?

In closing, I will say that when it comes to your beliefs, and the particular faith or creed to which you adhere, it is your right, and your business. I think, though, that it should be an equal opportunity thing, with the rights of everyone being fairly, and equally, enforced.

Having said that, I have a question to ask:

If you were brought before a court of law, accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Typing that last thought, made me smile. I was wondering if the answer to that question happened to be "no" would the ACLU then come to your defense?

Part of the Pledge of Allegiance says this: "One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." In many cases it is being recited, omitting the word, 'God' and is now, "One Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

I wonder how long before 'liberty and justice for all,' will also be dropped?

Soon, probably, because it looks like that concept is just about to become history.

December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

While you are gathered together with your friends and loved ones in celebration of this special Christmas season, please take a moment to remember our men and women in uniform who will not be spending this special time with the people they love.
Let's pray for their safe return to their families, and remember to give thanks for all the blessings in our own lives.
Freedom is one of the blessings we have, and it is their sacrifice which helps to assure that we keep it.
Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2008

Mary Did You Know?

This is what I really want to think about during this Christmas season. It is, after all, what it's all about. It is about hope and promise, and peace that transcends everything.

An Old Fashioned Christmas

Dear readers, I was going to post something nice and cheery to leave up for the rest of the year, but the more I tried to think of something to write, the harder it became, without sounding phoney.

It is true that I wish you all a very blessed and happy holiday, whether you call it Christmas, or Chanukah, or anything else. I really do wish you peace and happiness, and prosperity. I, really and truly, am so very thankful for all the blessings in my own life. For these blessings I give thanks to God, because I am a woman of faith, and in my own heart, I believe that all my blessings flow from Him. However, even as I say these words, I know that some will think that I am saying that He blesses some, and not others, but that is not true.

The truth is that we sometimes make bad choices, causing ourselves, and others to suffer the consequences. The Bible says that times and circumstances happen to all men.

The truth is that this is not a perfect world.

So, since I could think of nothing cheery to say, I decided to look at my old posts to see if there was something there, worthy of re-posting. Ironically, I found the following one, which I posted on this same date, so I wasn't feeling all that cheerful then, either. Also, ironically, in light of the recent financial fiasco, and all the other things currently in the news, the post seems even more apropos.

I guess, in spite of all I hoped for, things haven't changed all that much, so I present to you, again:

An Old Fashioned Christmas

I know that I have, recently, written about a wonderful memory of Christmas past, and I'm sure that most of us do have those fond memories. We long for things to be that way again, and wish that we could see through the eyes of a child again, where everything is good, and right with the world. We all long for just an old fashioned Christmas.

I have my precious memories, but now, as I write this, I just cannot get into the "spirit of Christmas" that everyone speaks of, and longs for, because try as I may, I can't get into that state of "willing suspension of disbelief"-- a semi-conscious decision in which you put aside your disbelief and accept the premise as being real for the duration of the movie you're watching, or the story you're reading--because this is real life, with real people, with real emotions, and I am acutely aware of the pain which exists all around me.

This is the time of year when people try to achieve a level of perfection, which in most cases, just does not exist. They long for the perfect life, the perfect family, perfect kids. They think of peace on earth, and good will toward all men--that does not exist, either, and I can't pretend it does, because I can't forget that there are children going to bed hungry, that there are old people who are sick, and alone, and cold because they can't pay a heating bill and a prescription bill, too.

I am aware that there are young mothers, struggling to make a living for their children, yearning for some kind of normalcy in their lives, but knowing that it is pretty much a lost cause. I am aware that there are whole families who are next to being homeless, through no fault of their own, with no way out of their hopelessness.

I am aware that people are fighting, and killing each other, for no reason other than self-gratification, and I can't forget that there are wars where people are killing and being killed for the sake of peace.

I can't pretend that all of that is not happening. I can't close my eyes to reality and pretend that this is a season when everyone is happy and satisfied, and loving his fellow man. That's how I wish it could be, but it isn't.

I am so thankful for what I have, and for anything that I am able to do to make things better for others, and I will never, ever, take that for granted.
My heartfelt wish is that all of you will have peace of mind, love in your hearts, and peace in your homes during this Christmas and Holiday Season. May it continue long after the season is past.

December 19, 2008

His Highness

The Return of the Imperial Presidency

By William Warren

As Christmas nears and millions of Americans across the country prepare to celebrate the birth of a child in a lowly manger, Barack Obama is gearing up for a celebration of his own—his imperial Inauguration. And, like all of his celebrations, his inaugural plans are rife with forced symbolism and unprecedented grandeur.

With regards to his journey to Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration, it seems the President-elect has taken note of the brouhaha the Big Three endured by deciding to forgo a jet trip on Obama Air. Rather, the junior Senator turned President will ride by train.

Before you chuckle at Mr. Obama’s meager travel selection, understand that there is always an underlying methodology in his mania for the meretricious. As expected, this is no ordinary train trip.

The President-elect’s train journey—which will take him from Philadelphia to Washington with stops in Wilmington and Baltimore in between—is meant to mirror a similar train journey made by Abraham Lincoln to his Inaugural in 1861. In a shameless effort to paint the incoming president not only as the next Lincoln, but also as the living embodiment of his legacy, Obama’s inaugural planners are pulling out all the stops. As the following USA Today excerpt reiterates:

“Philadelphia is a logical starting point, said presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, especially for the nation's first African-American president. The framers of the Constitution — all white males — ‘set in motion something that is still a work in progress,’ he said.”

And, as Emmett S. Beliveau, executive director of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee, said regarding the overtly symbolic, multi-city trip:

"As part of the most open and accessible Inauguration in history, we hope to include as many Americans as possible who wish to participate, but can't be in Washington…These events will allow us to do that while honoring the rich history and tradition of previous inaugural journeys."

It seems Barack Obama has quite an affinity for honoring rich history—especially, of course, if it honors him in the process. For instance, Mr. Obama honored the “rich history” of the Roman emperors by addressing the masses beneath the pearly white Greek temple at the coliseum known as INVESCO field. And although his followers may have trouble recalling the specifics of that particular speech, one thing is for certain—“All Hail Obama” was a spectacle to behold.

Speaking of imperial-like ostentation, the President-elect made quite a spectacle at a recent press conference. When a particular reporter, John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, asked Mr. Obama a reasonable question regarding the now-infamous Rod Blagojevich and the situation in Chicago, the imperial Mr. Obama became indignant and refused to allow the reporter to finish his question:

“John, let me just cut you off…because I don’t want you to waste your question. As I indicated yesterday, we’ve done a full review of this…the facts are going to be released next week, it would be inappropriate for me to comment…because, the story for example that you just talked about in your own paper, I haven’t confirmed that it was accurate and I don’t want to get into the details at this point. So, do you have another question?”

When the bold reporter refused to sit down and continued to probe the President-elect—as he dutifully should as a respectable journalist—Mr. Obama again silenced him while visibly displaying his agitation. After all, if the President-elect doesn’t want to answer a question he finds displeasing, why should he?

How very regal of you, Mr. Obama.

Unfortunately, it appears America may be in store for a return of the imperial presidency, the likes of which the nation hasn’t seen since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.

President Nixon, who apparently saw himself as more than a just a president, saw trifling things like laws and rules as below him. As the new Frost/Nixon movie poignantly reminds us, Tricky Dick once said:

“When the president does it that means that it is not illegal.”

In the case of President Johnson, a leader who exploited unchecked power from a grieving populace, imperial presidential administrations can even lead to war.

And now Barack Obama, with his symbolic self-honoring, silencing of the press, and narcissistic overkill, is heading on a train ride to not merely an inauguration, but a coronation. You might even call it a triumphal entry.

However, as CNN’s Campbell Brown pitches a bit of royal fit regarding Mr. Obama’s demeanor at his recent press conference, she ought to take a step back and realize how the President-elect got to where he is today. The media, including Campbell Brown, helped cultivate Mr. Obama’s Emperor-like demeanor. In her monologue, Mrs. Brown claims the media’s role is “not to support President-elect Obama, but to challenge him…to do their best to hold him accountable.”

Yet, Mrs. Brown, why shouldn’t Barack Obama be offended by a slightly pointed question? He’s simply not used to them!

At virtually no time during the campaign did the mainstream media challenge Barack Obama or hold him accountable in any way. Rather, the media enthusiastically protected the former Democratic presidential nominee, giving him a get-out-of-scrutiny-free card and a whole lot of adoration. After all, who could forget:

• MSNBC’s Chris Matthews enthusing about the “thrill” running up his leg when he hears Barack Obama speak?

• Or Clair Simpson of Good Morning America gushing over Barack Obama’s “fluid poetry” and “overnight political rock star” status?

• Or PBS’s Gwen Ifill and her glowing literary tribute: “Breakthrough: Politics in the Age of Obama”

Naturally, Mr. Obama would interpret this latest journalistic negligence as a sign to reign royally. And although we should be thankful the President-elect isn’t cutting off the heads of dissidents in the style of emperors of old, his cutting off of reporters ought to be seriously worrisome for those who believe the President is to be of—not above—the people.

William Warren is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.

December 15, 2008

A Christmas Memory

There is something about this particular season that causes memories to be stirred, and the sense of loss to be felt more acutely.

Today would have been my precious little Mama's birthday. To say that I miss her with every fiber of my being would not convey the depth of the loss I feel at no longer having her in my life.

Mama loved Christmas, and she always tried to make it a happy time for everyone. Remembering those times, and the love and devotion of my Mama, I have decided to repost:

"A Christmas Memory"

By the mid 1800s the American Christmas tradition included much of the same customs and festivities as it does today, including tree decorating, gift-giving, Santa Claus, greeting cards, stockings by the fire, church activities and family-oriented days of feasting and fun.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, who became one of my favorite authors when I was very young, wrote about the preparations of a Christmas on the prairie. She said: "Ma was busy all day long, cooking good things for Christmas. She baked salt-rising bread and Injun bread, and Swedish crackers, and huge pan of baked beans, with salt pork and molasses." She baked vinegar pies and dried-apple pies, and filled a big jar with cookies, and she let Laura and Mary lick the cake spoon.

That very Christmas, Laura Ingalls was delighted to find a shiny new tin cup, a peppermint candy, a heart shaped cake, and a brand new penny in her stocking.

With all the movies on television now, many with the theme of Christmases gone by, I cannot but remember, with great nostalgia, the first Christmas on Sand Mountain after Mama married my stepfather. If you have read my earlier posts, you will remember that I was nine years old, and we were sharecroppers, so there wasn't a lot of money to spend on presents, but Mama tried to make it as happy as possible, by sending Daddy out to woods to chop down a nice tree for us to decorate. For decorations, we strung popcorn on thread to make garlands, and cut strips of paper to make chains to wrap around the branches, which were garnished, beautifully, with little ornaments which Daddy cut out of tin cans. Since part of our duty as sharecroppers was to pick cotton, there was plenty of that saved in old Mason jars, and it worked just fine as big globs of snow on the branches! Of course, there were no packages under the tree, but we didn't worry about that--we expected Santa to take care of that!

I remember that Mama made a cake, Daddy parched some peanuts (which we also grew) and Mama made taffy, which took few ingredients, and the best part about that was pulling the taffy! It was great fun! So much fun that we hardly noticed the cold which swept in through the large cracks in the walls, and floor--besides, we had a cozy fire in the old fireplace, and you could get warm there--one side at a time! The wind whistled around the house, and through the cracks, but there was a warmth there, that did not come from the fireplace, nor the old stove in the kitchen. It was warmth which only comes from loving, and being loved, which cannot be understood unless one has experienced it.

Daddy played his fiddle, Mama and we sang, and I danced the buck-dance that Daddy had taught me to do. That night we went to bed, we girls snuggled in one bed, the boys in another, and Daddy and Mama in their bed, in the next room, where they kept hollering, "Y'all better get to sleep, or Santa won't come!" I don't know what the dreams were of the others in the house, but I'm sure that mine must have been delightful!

The next morning, we awoke to the sounds of Mama in the kitchen, and Daddy laughing, telling us we had better jump up and see what got left there last night! Of course, we all scrambled, and there, just like the best dream in the whole world were our treasures! One of my stepsisters was the very same age as I, so we got exactly the same thing, except for the colors of the dolls' dresses, and their eyes--mine had a pink dress and brown eyes, and hers had a blue dress and blue eyes! We, also, got a "diamond" ring, which cost all of thirty-five cents, as I found out a few years later, an orange, and a box of chocolate-covered cherries! I think that Christmas was probably the best Christmas ever!

Although I have many real diamond rings now, I don't think that any could compare with the one I received that Christmas. Even as I write this, I have a lump in my throat, because I know, now, what a sacrifice that was for Mama and Daddy. To some those few little presents are of little significance, but I'm sure that they did without something to be able to give us that much. To this day, I still give to those whom I love, a box of chocolate-covered cherries for Christmas.

My precious Mama passed away six years ago, and this past week would have been her birthday. She was a treasure and a blessing to all who knew her. Her name was Sarah, which in Hebrew means "princess" and she was, in every sense of the word.

Mama, the very memory of you is a blessing to me.

December 10, 2008

Time For A Smile

I'm tired of bad news, and the stories which make me feel sad. That's why I thought it was time for a smile, and a moment of pleasure.

Here's something that made me laugh, so I thought you might enjoy it, too.

Santa and Reindeer

Be sure to check out Santa's moves, as he keeps time with the music!

December 09, 2008

There Is No Excuse...

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.

The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

"That laundry is not very clean", she said.

"She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line, and said to her husband, "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?"

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

I know you may be thinking, "Oh, what a nice sentiment..and words of wisdom to be adhered to in our own lives."

Well, it is all that, but I'm looking at it from another perspective.

It seems to me that sometimes we don't really see clearly, not because our own windows are dirty, but because we are not presented with a clear view of a thing because of the dirty windows of others.

Sometimes, what we see is not what we get. Maybe, because our windows are clean, we think that what we are looking at is clean, too-- or it may have enough clean about it, that we don't see the dirt.

This has become apparent, to me, in many ways over the past months, in watching the political scene play out, and now again, in another situation.

For years, I have thought of United Way as a very good, and noble, organization. I've always heard of all the good things it does, of all the people it helps, and when I was employed, I contributed through payroll deduction, as has my husband, with a very substantial amount--but no more, as of this week.

I've found, through only a minimal amount of research, that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Institute, in this area, according to their own web site, is generously supported by our local chapter of United Way. To even read from the web site is sickening, so I won't dignify it by linking it here.

But wait...there's more.

Planned Parenthood is, also, generously supported by United Way. I know that many will find fault with what I am saying here, because they will say that it has helped save the lives of lots of women.

Has it?

I don't know--but I do know that it is responsible in helping to rid the world of many innocent babies. Unwanted burdens, and inconveniences to women--not necessarily threats to the lives of the mothers. Not only do they aid and abet the taking of innocent lives, even to the point of selling Abortion Gift Certificates but they, obviously, try to protect the guilty in some cases.

Go here, Planned Parenthood's Abortion Extremism,then make your own decision about what you think is right, but as for me and my house, we don't want our hard-earned money to support the very things that we find repugnant, and reprehensible.

We gave, not knowing where the money was going, nor how it would be spent--we weren't seeing the clear picture.

Now, we know, and there is no excuse.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
James 4:17 KJV

December 03, 2008


The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome becomes bankrupt.

People must again learn to work, instead of living off public assistance.

Cicero, 55BC

Ahh..Cicero--if only we had nothing more than that to be concerned about in this day and time. What you speak of is nothing compared to what we are facing in this country.

Washington Post: 20,000 More U.S. Troops To Be Deployed For “Domestic Security”

I'm afraid it's going to take a lot more than human wisdom to solve this one, Cicero.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
{2 Tim 3:1-4 RSV}