Wednesday, January 30, 2013

For Steve Jobs, maybe life is like an "on-off" switch. "Click! And you're gone.

Walter Isaacson in his massive bio, "Steve Jobs" tells the story of Jobs attending a Lutheran church with his parents. All this came to an end in 1968 when LIFE Magazine published a shocking cover story on a couple of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took the magazine to Sunday School and confronted the church's pastor. "If I raise my finger, will God know which one I'm going to raise even before I do it?"

The Pastor answered, "Yes, God knows everything."
Jobs then pulled out the LIFE cover and asked, "Well does God know about this and what's going to happen to these children?"

Jobs announced that he didn't want to have anything to do worshiping such a God, and he never went back to church. He did, however, spend years studying and trying to practice the tenets of Zen Buddhism.

Years later, in reflection, he said, "The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it." I would agree. But it's sad that He just shut the door to Christianity based on a presumption that God wasn't doing anything to alleviate suffering in the world. My question to Steve Jobs would've been, "If you are NOW so enlightened, what are you doing to relieve human suffering like that in Biafra?"
When Jobs learned that he had pancreatic cancer, one of his first calls was to Larry Brilliant, whom he had first met at an ashram in India. "Do you still believe in God?" Jobs asked him. Brilliant said that he did, and they discussed the many paths to God that they had been taught by the Hindu Guru Neem Karoli Baba. Then Brilliant asked Jobs  what was wrong. "I have cancer." Jobs replied.
One sunny afternoon when he wasn't feeling well, Jobs sat in the garden behind his house and reflected on death. He talked about his experiences in India four decades earlier, his study of Buddhism, and his views on reincarnation and spiritual transcendence. "I'm about fifty-five on believing in God," he said. "For most of my life, I've felt there must be more to our existence than meets the eye."
He admitted that, as he faced death, he might be overestimating the odds out of a desire to believe in an afterlife. "I'd like to think that something survives after you die," he said. "It's strange to think that you can accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures."
He fell silent for a very long time. "But on the other hand, perhaps it's like an on-off switch," he said. "Click! And you're gone."
Then he paused again and smiled slightly. "Maybe that's why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices."
From what we know of Steve's last days, he never had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. In fact, I believe that's why there was so much uncertainty and contemplation on life after death. Even Steve Jobs found it hard to accept the fact that you just flick an "off" switch and this whole thing is over. Nothing survives except maybe your company and some really cool products.

Steve Jobs' legacy is AMAZING!! It includes the following:

  • The Apple II, the first personal computer
  • The Macintosh, which begat the home computer revolution
  • PIXAR, which gave us "Toy Story" and ramped up the miracle of digital imagination in cartoons.
  • Apple stores which reinvented the role of a store in defining a brand.
  • The iPod which changed the way we consume music.
  • The iTunes store, which saved the music industry.
  • The iPhone, which turned mobile phones into music, photography, video, email & web devices.
  • The App store, which spawned a new content creation industry.
  • The iPad, which launched tablet computing and offered a platform for digital newspapers, magazines, books & videos.
  • iCloud, which demoted the computer from its control role in managing our content and let all our devices sync seamlessly.
Apple has surpassed Microsoft and everyone else as the most valuable company in the world. Steve Jobs accomplished a lot in his brief time here on earth.

But, having said that, I am reminded of the words of Jesus recorded in Mark 8:36, "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything (even creating the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, Pixar, even Apple itself) worth more than your soul?"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Steve Jobs: Great visionary, inventor, marketing genius--why was he so mean?

One of Steve Jobs' great strengths was knowing how to focus. "Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do." Now there's some wisdom for all of us. At various times in my life and church, things have been so out-of-focus, and partly because either I or the church were doing too many things. At Apple, Jobs whittled everything down to just 2 or 3 innovative products being worked on at any one time.

Jobs also espoused the "team concept" and intentionally designed the Apple buildings and offices so that workers had to go some distance to the bathroom, walking across the atrium where there was coffee and lots of little areas to sit and chat. He wanted to force people out of their comfort zones so they had to "bump into" one another and possibly get inspired or energized by these purposely-designed encounters.

The greatest weakness of Steve Jobs' was how he treated and abused people, even in his own family. Jobs saw the world in binary terms. A person was either a HERO, or a BOZO. A product was either amazing or a piece of (fill in the blank). Products, ideas, even food was something that was either "the best thing ever," or it was crap, brain-dead, inedible. As a result, any perceived flaw could set off a rant. The finish on a piece of metal, the curve on the head of a screw, the shade of blue on a box--he would declare they they "completely suck" until that moment when he suddenly pronounced them "absolutely perfect."

Unfortunately, Steve's Zen Buddhism never produced in him a zen-like calm and inner serenity. He was tightly coiled, impatient, and made no effort to hide these flaws. The author, Walter Isaacson, writes, "Most people have a regulator between their mind and mouth that modulates their brutish sentiments and spikiest impulses. Not Jobs. He made a point of being brutally honest. "My job is to say when something sucks, rather than sugarcoat it," he said.

Andy Hertzfeld, one of the early Apple scientists who designed the Mac operating system, said, "The one question I'd truly love Steve to answer is, 'Why are you sometimes so mean?'" Even his family members wondered whether he simply lacked the filter that restrains people from venting their wounding thoughts or willfully bypassed it.

When finally asked this question, Jobs would simply claim, "This is who I am, and you cannot expect me to be someone I'm not."

The nasty edge to his personality was not necessary and it hindered him more than it helped him. He actually felt that berating and verbally attacking Apple team members would separate the A-team from the B-team and only leave him with the cream of the crop after all the weak ones who couldn't take it had dropped out, quit and gone to work elsewhere. He was left with some amazing talent who stuck it out, persevered and developed some revolutionary products, but he also drove away a boatload of talented folks who found a healthier work environment elsewhere.

Every now and then, a wise colleague would pull Jobs aside to try to get him to settle down. Lee Clow was a master at doing this. "Steve, can I talk to you?" He would quietly say after Jobs had belittled someone publicly. He would go into Jobs' office and explain how hard everyone was working. "When you humiliate them, it's more debilitating than stimulating," he said in one such session. Jobs would apologize and say he understood. But then he would lapse again. "It's simply who I am," he would say.

Steve Jobs was wrong. He didn't have to be the way he was. It was a choice that he continued to make day after day. His quest at Zen Buddhism and inner peace was elusive and had no impact on changing his life. In my next and final post, we'll look at how Steve Jobs approached his mortality once he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Did he feel secure in his beliefs or was he troubled about possibly not knowing God?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Legacy of Steve Jobs from one who's never drunk the kool-aid.

Recently, I read the bio, "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson. For the record, I do not now own, nor have I ever owned anything made by Apple. There is this cult-like worship for anything Apple makes which leads me to believe that the typical Apple customer has drunk way too much of the Apple Kool-Aid (available only at Apple stores). These individuals may never darken the door of a church, but they'll stand in line for hours to be the first to own a new iPad or iPhone. For me, that's a bit creepy, but it's part of their identity. They hang with friends who have Mac computers and don't want to be ostracized for having a HP or Dell laptop. Having said this, I have great admiration for Steve Jobs. In fact, any business school that's worth anything should have a course or two on the Apple mindset.

Steve Jobs was a genius, but he was also a deeply flawed individual (more about this in my next post). He confided to close friends that he was driven by the pain he felt at being put up for adoption.

Jobs was a master at distorting reality. When confronted with pregnancy of his girlfriend, he simply denied that he was the father, even though he admitted to sleeping with her.

Some Apple (Mac Team) members said that Jobs could almost hypnotize them. "He reminded me of Rasputin," said Debi Coleman. "He laser-beamed in on you and didn't blink. It didn't matter if he was serving Kool-Aid. You drank it."

Now here is what set Steve Jobs apart from the rest of his peers. He had a passion for making a great product, not just a profitable one. The goal was never to make lots of money. It was to do the greatest thing possible, or even a little greater.

Throughout his career, Jobs liked to envision himself as an enlightened rebel pitted against the evil empires of IBM, Microsoft and Google. He was fighting the forces of darkness and his mindset was that this was the most important thing that anyone could ever do. Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi with the challenge: "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want to change the world?"

That was the slogan that we used in Campus Crusade for Christ when I was in college: "Come help change the world!" We got lots of students who committed to becoming missionaries in Campus Crusade because they wanted to make a difference in the world, and apparently, that's what Steve Jobs thought he was doing with Apple products.

Jobs was like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. He had a split personality. He could be charming one minute and then very cruel the next minute. He had a perverse eagerness to put people down. I'll give you some more insight into this aspect of Steve Jobs in my next post...stay tuned.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Do Pres. Obama and the Left really believe in the 2nd Amendment?

Sen.. Marco Rubio
It's a rarity when a politician will actually tell the truth, and that moment of unvarnished candor came a few days ago when Senator Marco Rubio was interviewed on Bill O'Reilly's Spin Factor. Marco Rubio said that President Obama "doesn't have the guts to admit that he doesn't believe in the 2nd Amendment. What we never get from the Left is an honest debate."

Here was a moment of truth-telling such as we seldom hear.The Left will tell you they believe in the 2nd Amendment, but that if they can, they would find a way to confiscate all guns.The Left will never honestly state their positions because they know that they are so unpopular with the American public.

James Holmes, Aurora, CO.
shooter at movie theater.
Rubio went on to say, "....It was this horrible terrible tragedy in Connecticut, which by the way, all of us were outraged by, all of us were sad about, and all of us would want to never see that happen again. And by the admission of the White House, what they proposed would do nothing to have prevented what happened in Connecticut, or Colorado before that, or any of those other places where this occurred. The issue America faces is not guns; it's violence. I think the fundamental question is, 'What is happening in our culture and in our society that's leading to people committing these atrocities, whether it's mental illness or some other violent propensities that have come into our culture and into our society."
Jared Lee Loughner

If the problem is mental illness, what can we do to stop it? What obstacles are in the way of dealing with the mentally ill? The mentally ill have been given rights which protect them from us, but don't protect us from then. We can't protect them from themselves.

D.J. Jaffe of Mental Illness Policy Org. states  that the Federal Government could make a real difference by stopping the closure of public hospital psychiatric beds and making it easier to compel treatment. Our current standard requires violence in order to get care to someone who is too irrational to realize that he needs it.

Nothing in President Obama's proposals addresses the issue of mental illness and how to get them into treatment facilities, even long-term care so they do not pose a danger to themselves, their family members, or the rest of society.

Marco Rubio told Bill O'Reilly, "He (Obama) sees this as an opportunity to get some of these things done that he's wanted to do his entire political career. He's going to utilize every rhetorical device to get to that point. I actually think the President doesn't have the guts to admit it, that he is not a believer in the 2nd Amendment."

All Obama & Co. have given us are failed policies and failed laws regarding the mentally ill. Going after law-abiding gun-owners does not address the problem and instead, attacks the Constitution, freedom and liberty.

We don't know if Adam Lanza (the Newtown shooter) was mentally ill, or if a better system would've helped him. But we do know that somewhere there is another young male who is angry and violent, showing signs of mental illness and looking for the opportunity to get the world's attention  and his 15-minutes of fame from the news media through another mass shooting. We don't know what the venue will be, whether it's a shopping mall, a school, a movie theater, but it will happen. It's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The President and his Media Lapdogs' Use of Illogical Fallacies

The NRA (National Rifle Association) released a new video on Tuesday calling President Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for having Secret Service protection for his daughters at school but saying he was "skeptical" about installing armed guards in all schools.

Why are the President's daughters deserving of more protection than your kids or the children at Sandy Hook school? Why does the President need so much protection when he refuses to allow you to have any protection for your family?

The great hypocrite himself today at the White House, using children as a human shield, signed 23 executive orders which bypass Congress and effectively shred the Constitution. About the same time, the White House released letters from little kids pleading for gun control. Do any of you reading this actually think these kids came up with the idea of writing the White House on their very own, or was it prompted, maybe even coerced by their teachers who probably gave them a form letter to copy. So once again, we have school teachers using our kids to further their political agenda.

Where was the debate? Seriously, where was the debate in Congress over the issue of gun-control? Why is no one talking about mental illness? All of the recent shootings including Columbine were done by individuals with varying degrees of mental illness. The President doesn't want any debate. He just wants to bypass Congress and the Constitution. He could care less about the will of the people. In fact, he and his liberal allies in the media are painting the NRA as a greater threat to your security than Islamic terrorists.

Michelle Malkin in her column today writes that we have been inundated with ILLOGICAL FALLACIES.
A fallacy is a false belief or misconception based on faulty reasoning. Illogical fallacies are those which are false and based on faulty assumptions or logic.

Michelle Malkin notes that debate has degenerated into a Sesame Street sing-along. Here are some of the fallacies that she's discovered from our daily media barrage:
Michelle Malkin
  • argumentum ad populum. It's popular, therefore it's true. This argument is used a lot for global warming, and now being used for gun-control. 
  • argumentum ad nauseam. If you repeat it often enough, it becomes the truth. This was used by Hitler concerning the Jews. He continually told the German people that the Jews were lazy and would bastardize the human race. Hitler said the Jews were taking over the country and were responsible for Germany losing WWI. This same argument is used today about global warming. 
  • argumentum ad hominem. Sabotage the person; sabotage the truth. This is often used against individuals like Rush Limbaugh or any popular conservative. This was a favorite of the President's hero, Saul Alinsky--you attack your enemy and demonize him so that people will no longer listen to what he has to say. 
  • argumentum ad verecundiam. If your favorite authority such as Chris Matthews, MSNBC or CNN says it's true, then it's true. No questions asked. No further research needed. If the NY Times says that we need gun-control, then we need gun-control. End of story! Everyone knows that liberals take the NY Times as their final word on any subject!
And now we can add:
  • argumentum ad filium. If politicians appeal to children, then it must be good and true.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Me Talk Normal One Day"--My Adventure in Speech Therapy

David Sedaris, often heard on Public Radio's "This American Life" writes in his book, Me Talk Pretty One Day, about being condemned to speech therapy sessions while in elementary school:
My therapy sessions were scheduled for every Thursday at 2:30, and with the exception of my mother, I discussed them with no one. The word therapy suggested a profound failure on my part. Mental patients had therapy. Normal people did not. I didn't see my sessions as the sort of thing one would want to advertise, but as my teacher liked to say, "I guess it takes all kinds." Whereas my goal was to keep it a secret, hers was to inform the entire class. If I got up from my seat at 2:25, he'd say, "Sit back down, David. You've still got five minutes before your speech therapy session." If I remained seated until 2:27, she'd say, "David, don't forget you have a speech therapy session at two-thirty." On the days, I was absent, I imagined she addressed the room, saying, "David's not here today,  but if he were, he'd have a speech therapy session at two-thirty."
David Sedaris' experience reminded me of my own sentence to speech therapy while in junior-high. Without any prior warning, I along with two others in my class were escorted to a small room near the principal's office. We were the only ones in this windowless little room with a tall balding man who announced himself as Dr. Millar. 

This was the day I discovered that my "s's" were sibilate which means uttered with a hissing sound or otherwise known as a lisp.  I also had problems with the "th" sound. Dr. Millar had me say "birthday" over and over, and it came out as "burfffday." I had a problem with the "th" sound as well as the "s." 

There's a certain stigma attached to one who is sentenced to speech therapy--at least for me there was. In my school, we had a room 13 where all the "slow" or "mentally-retarded" students, otherwise known as "retards" were sent. This was long before political-correctness and besides, when have junior-highers ever cared about what was PC anyway? Some kids in my class would come up to me and ask if I was spending time in room 13. Eventually, word got out that I was in speech therapy and some kids started to make fun of the way I talked, which made me want to crawl into a hole and die. I was always pretty talkative but when I and my friends discovered my lisp, I found that I talked a whole lot less. I didn't want to give them any additional ammo in their assault against my lisp.

While sentenced to speech therapy, the one thing that made it bearable each week was the presence of the other two students in our threesome. Patty and Polly Waddell, twins, who both spoke with a lisp. Patty and Polly were both pretty and popular, so these weekly sessions gave me more time to get to know them. Since the three of us were stigmatized by the same speech impediment, we stuck together, becoming good friends. 

Our weekly sessions included going over picture cards with different sounds and speaking into a small tape recorder which was then played back to us. Dr. Millar instructed me that when forming an s, to position the tip of my tongue against the rear of my top teeth right up against the gum line. At first, this was awkward and hard to do. My tongue seemed to fight against this, but with continued work, I eventually was able to get my "s" to sound normal. 

I remember Dr. Millar drilling us on the plural for desk. He would point to the desk we were sitting in and say, "Now tell me, what the word is for more than one desk?" The three of us would say, "deffffff" or "dessss." Eventually, with tons of patience on the part of our therapist, we learned to say the plural for desk. In fact, I discovered that most of my friends in school could not say the plural for desk properly. I went around asking them to say "desks" which most of them couldn't do. Invariably they pronounced it "dessss." This put a stop to my critics who found other victims to tease and embarrass, and after awhile, life returned to normal.

Looking back, I am thankful that I was forced to undergo speech therapy. Most of the people living in the South could use some speech therapy since they seem to evidence a "lazy tongue" and mispronounce so many words or make up words. But to be fair, folks from Boston have their own set of speech problems. 

To this day, I am aware of the need to enunciate properly with my tongue against the rear of my teeth and I'm thankful I can pronounce the word "desks." Try it. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

File this under "One Nation Under Arrest"

File these next few examples under: One Nation Under Arrest.

How much danger does the federal government pose to the average American--I'm talking about someone like YOU? 

Let's suppose you were a small-business owner, and for twelve years both U.S. Customs and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been inspecting the shipments of seafood you were importing to sell to U.S. restaurant distributors.  Suppose that for the entirety of those twelve years you had always packaged your shipments using plastic bags rather than cardboard boxes.  Suppose that there is no U.S. law requiring you to use anything other than plastic.

It would never occur to you that you might be charged with a federal crime and sentenced to over 8 years in federal prison because a third federal agency, the National Marine Fishery Service, decided that you had violated another nation’s obscure–and invalid–regulation requiring cardboard rather than plastic.

This is exactly what happened to Abner (Abbie) Schoenwetter. He had NO criminal record whatsoever. No one alleged that he was smuggling drugs or weapons. He was not cheating on his taxes. No one alleged that he used or even threatened violence.

What federal prosecutors did allege was that using plastic instead of cardboard violated a Honduran regulation.  

Because these unreasonable prosecutors were armed with a vague, overly broad, and otherwise unjust federal criminal law (the American Lacey Act), none of this mattered to them.  Essentially, the Lacey Act makes it a federal crime to violate any fish or wildlife regulation of any nation on earth.  (What are the chances that Congress reviewed every nation’s fish and wildlife regulations to ensure they are consistent with the Constitution and U.S. policy?)

Abbie Schoenwetter’s business, health, and family life (he has a wife and three kids) were wiped out because unreasonable federal prosecutors – one of whom is now the head of the criminal division in the Alabama U.S. attorney’s office – used an unjust law to target Abbie and a Honduran fisherman from whom Abbie purchased his seafood.

Abbie spent six and one half years in confinement and is now under the supervision of a parole officer for three years.

But he is not alone....

President Obama doesn’t think Arizona has any business enforcing federal immigration law, yet his administration wants the federal government to make sure U.S. companies abide by obscure regulations adopted by foreign countries. 

On Aug. 24, 2011, armed thugs from the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department raided Gibson Guitar's Nashville and Memphis, Tenn. factories, seizing $260,000 worth of wood along with computer files, emails and other documents. 

What was Gibson's crime? Gibson imports Indian rosewood and ebony fingerboards to craft musical instruments used by the biggest names in the music industry. The Federal Government alleged that Gibson was importing woods 10 mm thick instead of wood that is 6 mm thick. had the 

The Federal Government forced Gibson Guitar Corp to pay $350,000 to settle charges that the company bought wood from Madagascar that was one-sixth of an inch too think. Talk about a bad tune.
The issue hit the spotlight last week as the Department of Justice forced Gibson Guitar Corp. to pay $350,000 to settle charges that the company bought wood from Madagascar that was one-sixth of an inch too thick. Talk about a bad tune.

My last example is that of 3-time Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser who the National Forest Service deemed to be a criminal because he accidentally wandered into a national wildlife area. This occurred when he and a snowmobiling companion were caught two days and nights in the Rocky Mountains in a blinding blizzard and almost died. 

Ask yourself: Are we still the land of the free? 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The TSA is a good example of excessive government groping!

Mark Levin writes in his book "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America" writes:
"The LAW has been used to destroy its own objective. It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real appeal was to respect.
The LAW has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted PLUNDER into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense."
In 1970, the Code of Federal Regulations had 54,000 pages. Today it runs to 165,000 pages and takes 27 feet of shelf space when printed and bound.
One new federal agency which has been empowered by Congress to make us all possible terrorist suspects is the TSA. This agency has complete control over you once you decide to board a flight. If you've NEVER felt like a criminal, just wait, the TSA can change all that.

I remember my own outrage at the Logan Airport TSA (Boston) when my son was in Army uniform boarding a flight back to Ft. Benning, GA. The TSA agent basically strip-searched Josh, forcing him to remove his shoes. Here was my son defending the freedom of this agent who was treating him like he was a suspected terrorist.

I voted for George W. Bush but many things that he did after 9-11 were stupid and only served to expand government while limiting our liberty and freedom. The TSA is a good example of an agency that has complete control over you as a person the minute you want to board a flight.

In order to get on an airplane in America today, you either have to allow TSA agents to stare at a movie-quality image of your exposed body or you have to allow TSA agents to grope your entire body including your most private areas. The truth is that any nation that treats its citizens like dehumanized cattle does not deserve to be called a "free nation" anymore.  Under the guise of protecting our liberties and freedoms from terrorism, we are being told that we have to give up all of our liberties and freedoms.

Here are some examples of TSA "over-reach" or "over-feel":
  • A 61-year old bladder cancer survivor was left humiliated, crying and soaking in his own urine after his "enhanced pat down."
  • A flight attendant named Megan describes what she went through at the hands of the TSA, "The agent went up my right leg first and then met my vagina with full force...the same on the other leg with the same result. She then used both of her hands to feel my breasts and squeezing them. At this point, I was in shock."
  • ABC News producer Carolyn Durand claims that a TSA agent actually reached inside her underwear and felt her way around.
  • Flight attendant Cathy Bossi was shocked when she had to actually show her prosthetic breast to a TSA agent. "She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?'...And I said, 'It's my prothesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.'"
  • A lawsuit filed on behalf of a female college student from Amarillo, Texas claims that a TSA agent actually exposed her breasts to the public: "As the TSA agent was frisking the plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff's blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs' breasts to everyone in the area."
  • Meg McClain never thought the infamous TSA abuse would happen to her. This very attractive, twenty-something female, was singled out by the TSA for a little “fun” because she is cute and the Tampa chapter of voyeuristic TSA pot-bellied perverts were bored. However, the TSA got more than they bargained for when she would not play ball and subsequently refused to submit to second degree sexual assault at the “hands” of the TSA. The TSA officials subsequently handcuffed her to a chair and spent the next 30 minutes berating her before one agent tore her boarding pass in half in a fit of rage in response the McClain’s opposition to being sexually molested. 
  • The abuse of the TSA knows no bounds. For example, they like feeling up children, handicapped children. A toddler in a wheelchair is stopped by the TSA at ORD (O’Hare Airport in Chicago) and forced to into a sequestered area. On his way to a family vacation in Disney, this 3 year old boy is in a body cast for a broken leg. Watch as the TSA employee gleefully puts his hands on this child, in front of his father, and amazingly, the father capitulates. The following was filmed by a horrified bystander.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a cookie cutter version of the East German Stasi and because of the pot bellied perverts who work at the who expose the flying public to degradation, extreme violations of our bodies and lethal doses of radiation. All of this is being done in the name of keeping us safe.  No other country in the world subjects its air travelers to the combination of highly invasive screening procedures that Americans are being forced to endure. Thank-you George W. Bush. What a legacy!! I'm sure you must be proud.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

You could be breaking the law at this very moment!

Well, we avoided the fiscal cliff. Thank-you Congress. You can now go home and stay there. Don’t come back!!

You’re probably thinking that I’m not grateful for all the hard work that Congress does on our behalf, and you would be right.

Every day that Congress is in session, they are creating more and more laws and legislation and regulation, not to mention that Congress employs an army of more than two million bureaucrats who are highly compensated, with salaries and benefits more than double what most employees in the private sector earn. These bureaucrats monitor daily life and attempt to extinguish all risk, choice and to enact laws in pursuit of societal perfection.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute reported in 2010 that the total number of
federal rules, totals 81,405 pages.

Moreover, the Heritage Foundation found that the number of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code increased from 3,000 in the early 1980s to 4,000 by the year 2000, and to over 4,450 by 2008.

Scores of federal departments and agencies have created so many criminal offenses that the Congressional Research Service (the research arm of Congress) admitted that it was unable to even count all the offenses.

Here’s what this means for you and me: You’ve probably already broken the law at some point this week. I broke the law on New Year’s Eve driving past a police car who then pulled out behind me and followed me a ways before he turned on his lights and motioned me over. Was I speeding? No. My offense was not wearing my seat belt. Thank-you for the citation and my donation of $25.00 to the city treasury. You could have given me a warning, but that would not fill the city coffers, would it?

The workplace is subject to a web of federal regulations. Where "public accommodation" is involved, such as a retail store or doctor's office, there must be ramps, special bathrooms, widened doors, and curb cuts in the sidewalks. Even carpeting is scrutinized to make sure it is accessible. There are rules involving wages, taxes, health benefits, pension benefits, working conditions, environmental conditions, human resources, union elections, financial practices, and record-keeping. The vending machines on the premises are regulated. Each vending machine must have a "sign close to each article fo food or selection button disclosing the amount of calories in a clear and conspicuous manner."

This is just for starters. I’ll give you some more hair-raising examples next time. Until then, watch your back, check your rear-view mirror, and get yourself a copy of the U.S. criminal code so you can begin reading all the laws and rules to discover which ones you are breaking each and every day. It’s just a matter of time before Uncle Sam finds out and either fines you with a severe penalty, or arrests you, where you are presumed guilty until you can prove your innocence! Think I'm kidding. Stay tuned for my next post.

Is this a great country, or what?!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My New Year's Prayer

I wanted to kick off 2013 with a rant based on an encounter I had with my local police yesterday, but instead, I'll post on that next time.

Today is January 1, and it's halfway over. In fact, you may not even see this post until January 2 or 3, but that's ok, because it will still be fresh and relevant.

I was reading the Psalms this morning and as usual, I was praying certain portions of scripture back to the Lord. That inspired me to want to launch the New Year on a positive note with a prayer for this year of 2013. So here is my prayer (cobbled together from Psalms 24-26):

Lord, I start off this new year by declaring that it is in You that I trust. Even as I say that, I know that all too often, I don't really trust you or lean on You. Help me to trust in You this year. Make me to know your ways, O Lord. Teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me. Help me to walk in faithfulness to You, O Lord.

Test my heart and mind and show me what I am made of. Help me to walk in integrity and uprightness this year. Lord, decimate all the religiosity and hypocrisy from my life so that I can truly be a man of integrity. Fill my heart and mind with your words of truth and cause me to be a doer of your word and not just a "hearer." Help me to put Your words into practice daily.

O Lord, You are the King of Glory. You are the Lord who is strong and mighty, mighty in battle.

Show yourself strong to those who are weak and needy, to the lonely and fainthearted, to those who have been persecuted, to those who are in pain and need your healing touch. Lord, show yourself to be their Healer, their Savior, their Deliverer, a Strong Tower to run to in times of trouble and despair.

Lord, as the Word declares, "The earth is the Yours and the fullness thereof." It all belongs to you.
Lord, raise up a generation that will seek your face, a generation that will worship You and want to be in your presence. Raise up a generation that will give you the glory and honor that You so rightly deserve. Lord, I want to be part of that generation.

Lord, I get so caught up with material things, wanting this new toy and that new thing, but Lord, work in my life so that I am satisfied with You. That You would be my daily portion. That You alone would be the One I seek to satisfy and give my life worth, value, purpose and enjoyment!
You are El-Shaddai, the God of more than enough. Lord, I want to daily know you as the God who is more than enough to meet my every need, to help me face the challenges of 2013. Lord, You alone are able to save me and keep me.

Finally Lord, as I learn to wait on You this year, I pray that you would redeem Israel out of all her troubles. Deliver Israel from all her enemies, those who surround her and are bent on her destruction. Lord, I pray that you would turn the hearts of the Jewish people back to You, that they would trust in You as their Shield and Defender, and their God and Savior.