Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 Election Only Just Begun

With the announcement last weekend of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as the Vice-Presidential running mate for Republican Party standard bearer Mitt Romney, the real race towards Election Day 2012 has finally begun.

For American voters, the contrast is stark and the choice is clear: continued big government Democratic Party-led liberalism leaning towards socialism, or Republican Party-led return to traditional American conservative free market principles.

While Americans have lived through a year's worth of Republican debates and primaries while suffering through the Obama economy and public media debates over the basic nature of America's future direction, they have also been largely spared a true bombardment of political ideas and exchanges.

That is all about to change, as the coming weeks and months will bring an ever-increasing bombardment of television, radio, and Internet ads, speeches, and endorsements that will likely have most of us thankful on the morning of November 7th no matter which way the election goes.

In Tampa, Florida from August 27th-30th, the Republican National Convention will take place and will take over the news cycle with speeches and policy outlines. America will receive a final, brief vacation from politics over the Labor Day weekend.

This will be quickly followed by the Democratic National Convention in Richmond, Virginia from September 3rd-6th. The two campaigns will outline their policies, highlight their candidates, and point out their direction for America during these two intense weeks.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Become a Beacon of Light

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:3-4


There is plenty of darkness in the world today. Every single day you can turn on a 24-hour news network, open any news website, pickup a newspaper and read about the influence of the darkness in men's souls.

As of yesterday there were 212 homicides committed in the City of Philadelphia alone. That's 17 more than last year at the same time, and last year ended with 18 more than the previous year.

On Sunday, white supremacist Wade Page walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and shot nine people, killing six immediately. Among the three critically wounded was a white Oak Creek police lieutenant, Brian Murphy. One wonders if a white Irish-Catholic who worked every day to keep his community safe and peaceful was an intended target of Page's particular brand of hate. One answers that it really doesn't matter.

Page and others such as Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 13 people in their 1999 rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado, and Troy West, who mercilessly beat a black female military veteran in front of her 7-year old daughter outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Georgia in 2009 are all examples that the white community needs to take to heart.

Shootings, stabbings, and other attacks in this country and around the world do not have as their common denominator the race, sex, ethnic background, or religious belief of the attackers. What they do have in common is darkness and hate. At some point in the attackers lives, they chose to embrace the darkness over the light, and as with many who make such a choice, found their lives spiraling out of control.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Disagreement Does Not Equal Hate

Traditional, Conservative, and Christian, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his popularity in those circles and publicly called for Americans who support traditional marriage to get out to their local Chick-fil-A restaurant this past Wednesday.

On his Facebook page, Huckabee posted the following statement: "Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse."

This led to an uprising of support among those, such as myself and my wife, who agree with Huckabee's position on marriage as intended by God to be between one man and one woman. We ate dinner on Wednesday late afternoon at the Chick-fil-a restaurant at 2301 E. Butler Street, just off Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The place was packed, and had to bring extra help on to serve all those who, like us, heeded Huckabee's call and came out in support.

The controversy began when leaders within the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) had discovered that Chick-fil-a takes public stances on behalf of, and supports charitable organizations that benefit, traditional marriage as biblically defined. As the company's President, Dan Cathy, said when confronted on the issues this week: "Guilty as charged!"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Post-Trade Phillies Ain't Done Yet

At the 2012 MLB trade deadline on Tuesday, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro made a handful of decisions that signal two things: first, the Fightin' Phils lineup needed to change and, second, the team was not at all interested in a complete rebuild from scratch. The GM did two things, didn't do a couple others, and effectively put a couple others on the back burner with the chance that something could still be done there.
The first thing that Amaro did was to deal away long time centerfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for effective right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and high-ceiling righty pitching prospect Ethan Martin.

Next, Amaro decided to deal away rightfielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for a package that included rightfielder Nate Schierholtz, top catching prospect Tommy Joseph, and young pitching prospect Seth Rosin.

Decisions that Amaro apparently made involving not dealing away players included pitcher Cliff Lee and shortstop Jimmy Rollins. A number of teams inquired on the availability of Lee, but were apparently rebuffed from the start, or given such a high list of demands from Amaro that talks went nowhere in a hurry. 

The Oakland A's, fishing around for a shortstop, apparently checked in on their hometown boy JRoll, but again were either immediately rebuffed or unwilling to meet a high Phillies price.