Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fox's 'Choice'

This past Saturday night, the Fox News Channel aired a compelling one-hour program titled "Facing Reality: Choice". 

In the program, Fox followed a trio of women as they went through their own particular "choice" process after learning that they were pregnant.

The women, their circumstances, their attitudes, and finally their choices could not have been more heterogeneous.

Kayla is a beautiful woman in her low-20's, born and raised in a practicing Christian environment by her strongly pro-life mother. As a teenager, she took the "chastity pledge" and wore a "purity ring" to acknowledge her commitment to remain a virgin until marriage.

She herself was strongly anti-drug, and like her mom, thought of herself as strongly pro-life. Then she went to college, turned into a partier, experimented with drugs, met a guy, got pregnant.

Her unmarried roommate was also pregnant, and they had frequent girl-chats about how fun it was going to be having their kids at the same time, and raising them as friends.

Big problems popped up though (imagine that) when Kayla's "partner" (read: baby's daddy) didn't want to raise a child. Suddenly Kayla was preparing to become a single mother.

With her future on the line, she was after all trying to graduate from beauty school, Kayla made the "difficult" choice to have an abortion, against everything that she had previously believed in as a theory. She even was able to enlist her mom's support in the project, and mom attended the actual abortion procedure with her.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Narrowing the '08 Republican Field

Busy as this particular American's life is, I had to record this week's debate among the current Republican candidates for President in 2008.

After finally getting to watch the debate in it's entirety last night, I can say without any trepidation that it is time to narrow this field.

So having heard their positions and judged the pulse of the party to this point, and with apologies to these men, each of whom would be a better President than either of the Democratic party front-runners, it is time to say goodbye to the campaigns of Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, and Ron Paul, good men all.

This would leave the field consisting of, in alphabetical order by last name: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson.

The following is my own brief take on where these candidates currently stand with me, an average Republican, as they move forward looking for my vote:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jesus' Sermon on the Plain

Most everyone has heard of Jesus' unforgettable lessons taught at what has become known as the "Sermon on the Mount", what I believe to be the greatest single speech or teaching ever given.

On that day, as recorded in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus gave us the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer and the Golden Rule.

He told us that we are the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world", that we should love our enemies, and taught mankind on a wide variety of issues from divorce to money to managing our anger.

But lesser known was his "Sermon on the Plain", as described in Luke's Gospel.

After beginning with some blessings similar in many ways to the Beatitudes, Jesus goes on to warn us of our own greed and selfishness:
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way."
Bummer, huh? I mean, this Jesus was some tough guy to please, huh?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

You and Me Against the World

Many Sundays here at the old Blog are going to be, barring some major story that needs attention, our chance to present and discuss religious and/or spiritual matters. It is, after all, the Lord’s day, so the topic is most appropriate.

Though I am a practicing Roman Catholic, I try to keep myself open to any positive Judeo-Christian influences, and that is where the topics and inspiration will be drawn from.

Today will be about some of the worldly things that we who are believers find ourselves up against in the struggle to not only strengthen our own beliefs, but evangelically spread them to others.

In a recent article for the Christian Post, guest columnist and best-selling author of “The Purpose-Driven Life” pastor Rick Warren presented “Six Worldviews You’re Competing Against“.

Warren listed these: 1) The one with the most toys wins, 2) I’ve got to think of me first, 3) Do what feels good, 4) Whatever works for you, 5) God doesn’t exist, and 6) You are your own god. In his article, Warren briefly presented each view, and then presented a Biblical refutation of each.

When we consider the six worldviews above, for the vast majority of Americans the last two are already defeated.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

LOST at Sea

In what has been described as the United Nations greatest power-grab in history, US President George W Bush is about to sign on to the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which would cede control of the worlds oceans to a new International Seabed Authority.

All the “fairness” and “international cooperation” bloviating is just smoke-screen for what is yet another in a series of actions in which the Bush administration is supporting the ceding of United States sovereignty.

President Ronald Reagan warned way back in 1982 when he declined to sign the U.S. on to the treaty at that time that it did not satisfy the objectives sought by the United States”.

Of course, the Clinton administration, always eager to embrace the One World Government crowd, came up with a parallel agreement and pushed for it’s ratification. The issue became buried in a Senate committee, but has been resurrected and now appears to be getting fast-tracked by Bush.

Today, in response to the renewal of efforts to hand over control of 3/4’s of the globe’s surface to an international body, many prominent citizens continue to fight against LOST, including Colonel Oliver North, who states the enforcing body would act as a “world IRS” and be an end-run towards US support for the Kyoto Protocol. Pat Buchanan states that the treaty would “syphon off national rights, national sovereignty, and national wealth.”

One thing seems certain, that if the Senate makes the catastrophic mistake of ratifying LOST, then the Bush administration and Presidency will be remembered long-term for a true tragic and far-reaching mistake, one that is much worse than that which his Iraq war critics want to hang on him, and even possibly worse than his failure to secure our southern border.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Johnny & Susie Sittin' in a Tree?

When I was a little kid in Catholic grade school if you “liked” another little kid of the opposite sex, meaning thought they were cute,there was a now-quaint little ditty that the other little kids chanted at the two of you:

Johnny and Susie, sittin’ in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, second comes marriage, third comes Susie with a baby carriage.

It all seemed so innocent back then. It was a way for others to mock the little kiddy relationship that was budding. No one, absolutely no one, ever expected little Susie to actually turn up pushing that carriage. And little Susie never did. Ever.

But as the years have passed, morality has been eroded away in America and around the world. There are attacks on American values and institutions happening on a daily basis. Another downward step in this overall decline is happening in Maine, where a middle-school is now giving out birth control to students.

Arguments have been made along the lines of ”they are gonna do it anyway, you may as well give them birth control and education”, and that “there are parents who can’t or won’t transmit values” to their kids. One advocate said: “This isn’t about encouraging kids to have sex. This is about the kids who are engaging in sexual activity.”


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Union Busting

Embed from Getty Images
Could the world one day see a true "North American Union"?

Up in Canada this summer, President Bush met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon in what should have been a standard, wholly positive “meeting of the minds” between the leaders of the three leading nations in our hemisphere.

But many are rightfully concerned that this meeting and other developments of recent years are setting the stage for a government-like North American Union.

At its fullest completed vision, the North American Union (NAU), which has also gone by a few other names as well, would essentially replace the United States, Mexico and Canada as a governing level above the three once-independent nations.

Styled nearly identically to the current European Union, there would be one currency, open borders, and many subtler features that would overwhelm the U.S. Constitution.

Back in 1973, U.S. banking leader David Rockefeller met with American geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski and along with other business and political leaders formed the Trilateral Commission.

Conspiracy theories aside, the commission was formed in order to foster closer working relationships among the leaders of the three leading economic spheres of influence: North America, Europe, and Pacific Asia.

A year later, one of the commission members, Richard Gardner of Columbia University, wrote an influential article for Foreign Affairs magazine titled “The Hard Road to World Order” in which he called for “an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece”.

It is from this line of thinking that covert attacks on the United States of America as an independent, sovereign nation began to take place.

In 1979, while running for President, Ronald Reagan called for a “North American Agreement” to produce “a North American continent where the goods and people of the three countries will cross boundaries more freely.” Upon taking office in January of 1981, Reagan called for a North American common market.

In October of 1984, the Congress passed the Trade and Tariff Act, a part of which extended the powers of the president to concede trade benefits and enter into bilateral free trade agreements.

In October of 1987, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was finalized, and signed into law by President Reagan and the Canadian Prime Minster in January 1988.

This led U.S. trade representative Clayton Yeutter to utter the statement “We’ve signed a stunning new trade pact with Canada, the Canadians don’t understand what they’ve signed. In twenty years they will be sucked into the U.S. economy.” Well, those twenty years have now passed, and Yeutter is proving to be a visionary.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush began negotiations with the Mexican president to foster the same type of relationship as had been forged with Canada. A year later, Canadian PM Brian Mulroney asked that the negotiations become trilateral among the three nations.

Over the next couple of years the framework was laid for what has become known simply as NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which formally went into effect in January 1994.

NAFTA basically eliminated tariffs on products traded between the three nations while protecting intellectual property rights and removing many investment restrictions. Over the ensuing half dozen years, negotiations take place aimed at enlarging the scope of NAFTA to include the Caribbean region nations and Chile.

Mexico elected Vicente Fox as President in 2000, and Fox quickly proposed what became known as his “20/20” vision: the U.S. and Mexico would have a common market within 20-30 years.