Guns verses Knives. Who Cares? Dead is Dead!

I absolutely agree that as killing devices go a gun is far more effective and efficient than a knife. But the same is true for a gun as a defensive device. I am far more attracted to the image of Indiana Jones pulling out his gun and shooting the knife wielding giant in Raiders of the Lost Ark than I am of him standing his ground and taking the risk of fighting it out. I had a conversation with a dear friend in England yesterday who gave me the age old argument that the 2nd Amendment is outdated as it was written for the citizenry of a country that was constantly facing serious threats against which every home needed protection. Well look around.

I live and very peaceful suburban neighborhood right out of “Leave it to Beaver” and I now have no reason to doubt that something like this can – and will – happen here at any time. Look at the society we live in. I contend that the threat to our personal safety is greater today that it has ever been in American History. And not for nothing, but gun laws are stronger now than they’ve ever been American History.

Why didn’t we have this sort of thing in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even the 80’s when gun laws were far more lenient than they are now? I’ll say it again and I won’t quit saying it. This is NOT a gun control issue. If it were, there would be no [gun] violence in the country at which point we could set about eradicating all other violence by enacting sweeping control laws pertaining to hammers, baseball bats, golf clubs, frying pans and yes, ash trays, tire irons uncooked poultry and yes, fists.

We live in a country wherein true morality is swiftly being replaced with the ever widening moral shortcut known as ““grey area”. What should we as a society expect with right and wrong are buffered with such a gaping ethical DMZ?

It was said by someone I respect that those who kill with guns are cowards. Despite the pathological differences that would cause a person to use a gun rather than a knife, stick, explosives, poison or their bare hands I’ll go farther and say those who commit any kind of violent crime by any means are cowards. Before anything else they are bullies and at the heart of the bullying mentality is the most extreme kind of cowardice. Violence, even as a thought process, is – with the exception of necessary violence as self-defense – a cowardly substitute for intellectual action.

That being said, I will concede that the notion of using a knife carries with it the necessity – and willingness – to get very up close and personal in the act. However, in the case of this most grievous atrocity in our history the perpetrator did both. He used a gun which gave the convenience of a [minor] standoff position. But the multiple wounds suffered by all of the children would indicate he got in close to finish them off.

This person said, “To use a gun on children is absolutely unforgivable.” My faith says there is no unforgiveable sin. But for the sake of this discussion let’s agree. To use a gun on children is absolutely unforgivable. But within the same context wherein there is a sin for which forgiveness is grievous beyond redemption I think the greater point might be that it is unforgiveable to use any kind of violence on children beyond a smart swat on the bottom when they get sideways is “truly unforgiveable”. But given my faith, I would say there is nothing that is more unacceptable, despicable deserving of the sternest punishment available – short of the equally unacceptable death penalty.

God bless the parents who’ve lost children, the children who post parents and the community for which 600 children have lost their innocence far too soon in life.

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Please Lord, let the comforting begin.

Romney at the Bat

Last night’s debate was an amazing thing to see. We knew President Obama was going to drink five gallons of Red Bull and come out swinging. For that reason it was equally obvious Mitt Romney was going to meet the President head on. That meant there was going to be a serious confrontation and unlike seemingly everyone else, I was not at all surprised at how bloody it got. Despite the fact that there were times when even I was uncomfortable with the meshegas, it was good TV.

We knew the President would shamelessly lie all night long and right on cue he did just that. We knew Governor Romney would show up with a commanding knowledge of the facts and right on cue he did just that. We knew Candy Crowley was going to drive the debate into as many liberal safe havens as she and her staff could. Right on cue she did just that by selecting questions that either teed the ball up for POTUS with queries that played right into his mythical war on women, or lancing Romney with a ridiculous request to explain how he is different from George Bush (which Romney handled extremely well).

There was nothing surprising with the way Crowley jumped to the President’s defense on the Libyan issue. Was anyone surprised when she closed the gun control conversation down just before it got to “Fast and Furious”? After all, the mainstream press has been running interference for the President since long before he got elected. So why should we expect anything more than a grunt out of a pig. However, while Crowley’s misconduct came as no surprise it was infuriating nonetheless. If people like Candy Crowley and Martha Raddatz want to set the pace of the election, they should throw their hats in the ring as candidates.

No, none of this came as a surprise. Everything that happened was perfectly according to script. The only true shock came upon the one question that had the left nervous as a bomb maker with allergies and the right drooling like Pavlov’s dogs was, “Mr. President, we all watched as State Department officials testified under oath that they had real time accounts of the Benghazi raid as our people were dying. Yet 14 days later you were still shoveling this bovine byproduct about an ongoing investigation and a movie trailer to anyone who would listen. So tell us Mr. President, how is it that your State Department knew what was going on as it was happening but you didn’t get the news until a month later?”

The first [and only] question from the audience on the matter of Benghazi came to the President and, as expected, he danced completely around it – And now the pitcher holds the ball. When he was done saying what he intends to do going forward to make sure this never happens again all eyes turned to Romney – and now he lets it go. This was it. This is the one moment everyone tuned in to see. The Left was not breathing and the Right was nearly mad with heart-stopping anticipation of the death blow that was only seconds away. After all, this is a guy who went through Harvard Law and Harvard Business simultaneously. He’s got game Barack Obama will never have. THIS WAS IT! – and now the air is shattered by the force of Romney’s blow…

Wait a minute. Is that it? Please tell me that’s not it! At the very least Mighty Casey struck out swinging at the pitch. This guy dropped the bat and just watched it sail on by. I couldn’t believe it! Instantly I was up shoving furniture around the living room with my wife looking at me like I was insane. Then she realized what was going on. Knowing what my real motive was she asked, “What are you doing?” I let her know that I want to put the Christmas tree in a new location this year and I’ve been meaning to move things around and see if my idea works. Then I added, “It’s either this or we’re buying a new TV.” After looking at the repositioned living room she agreed that this was a much better expenditure of my anger. She also agreed with the new tree placement.

I have come to the conclusion that Mitt Romney quite simply doesn’t have the grit for the job *IF* he even gets the nod. It will be all I can do to vote for him. We’ve been pulling this guy’s sled through deep snow for how long now and praying that he might grow a spine only to see this horrifying display. He had us fooled in the first debate. But if he folds like this when he has a small time malignant narcissist like President Obama on the ropes just think how he’s going to collapse when he’s up against true global sociopaths in China, Iran and Russia whom he will never have this vulnerable. No, he doesn’t have it.

I’m going to vote for Romney. But I want to make it very clear that I see him as nothing more than the leper in the colony with the most fingers and I feel the need to do what I can to make sure the most despicable monster to ever sit behind the Resolute Desk doesn’t get re-elected. But it’s going to be a shotgun wedding at best.

The good news is the tree will look great this year. You should come by and see. We’ll keep the eggnog ready.

Not Bad. Now Keep it Up!

It’s said that no battle plan has ever survived the first shot of engagement. President Obama thought his august presence would convince the IOC to bring the Olympics to Chicago and he got laughed out of the room. He had that same expectation with the Middle East and Europe and got the same response. In fact, the only people who aren’t calling him out for the fool and liar that he obviously is are the staff who get paid to bow when he walks by, the slobbering sycophants in the press & Hollywood and the gullible couch potatoes who won’t get up off their desire for free stuff to take a look at what is really going on and see that nothing is ever free. Like the aforementioned failures the president came into last night’s debate with the same battle plan; “I’m here. That’s all I’ll need to beat this guy.”

Unfortunately [for him], POTUS is not accustomed to being hit in the face with his record of failure, false statements and sociopathic bullying of the American people in a one on one format like a debate wherein he has no cover. He has an obvious tell. When he looks down and smiles it’s a sign he’s in trouble. Early on in his term when he faced a tough question by Bret Baier he was criticized for laughing off the seriousness of the subject. It was later said [by his handlers] that this was a nervous reaction.

We started seeing that from the very onset of the debate last night – no doubt a nervous reaction to the reality that he wasn’t dealing with a loyal subject who is paralyzed by his majestic charisma. It’s no wonder he got beat like an old Persian rug. He didn’t have Jay Carney, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod and the whole of the mainstream press there to cover his action with their own lies. Additionally, he didn’t have his beloved teleprompter feeding his responses or Valery Jarrett whispering sweet nothings in his ear. Although I will say I had serious doubts as to who would show up, Mitt the Impaler or Uncle Fuzzy.

There’s no question that “Ned Flanders” was left home to water the lawn. Governor Romney put on a masterful performance. He was measured and relentless. While he was respectful of the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America he showed neither respect, deference or patience for the bovine byproduct the occupant of that office was shoveling. Romney knew exactly what the president was going to say and he was never once caught off guard. When it was all over it’s likely the challenger had only used ten percent of the ammunition he brought to the fight.

But beware, if the Romney camp goes back to the same campaign posture we’ve seen for months now and the governor only shows up born again tough for the debates he’ll still get pounded into a fine powder in the election. And remember this, after last night you can bet Team Obama is going to pull out the heavy lumber and swing for the fence at every pitch. Any pretense of decency that may have been even remotely considered by this group of people [for whom honesty, decorum and legality do not apply] will be manifestly and shamelessly cast aside. The gloves are off because they now know they can’t beat Romney with “their facts”.

It’s day one for all concerned – including we the voters – on a calendar that only has 34 days and reason for serious concern remains. As for me, I’m still not convinced Romney and his team have what it takes to prosecute a presidential campaign against the political equivalent of Satan himself.

But after last night I’m getting there.

A Reasonable and Sound Person Making the Decisions for the Nation

On a site called “Caffeinated Politics” some half baked, butter skulled liberal idiot wrote, “President Obama is making it very clear that there needs to be a reasonable and sound person making the decisions for the nation, not a shoot-from-the-hip guy with nice hair but no substance or moral guiding principles.”

Let’s look at exactly how President Obama is making that case. When our embassy in Cairo came under siege did our Commander in Chief send OUR security forces in to protect our flag? No. When our Libyan Ambassador and three of his staff were murdered in cold blood by an insurgent strike force in a highly coordinated attack did POTUS gather his national security team together and go over options? No. What did he do? He packed for Las Vegas. Be assured, however, that his national security team did indeed soberly disuses the matter as they do on all national security issues every day of the week. However, as is the case – every day of the week – the Commander in Chief was nowhere to be found.

You have to ask yourself why our government didn’t see these attacks coming. How is it that something this big and far reaching wasn’t picked up by US intelligence? Is it possible that we might have had a more accurate understanding of the region were we able to interrogate even one of the people whose scalps President Obama has been collecting in his scorched earth drone campaign waged solely to make him look big on national defense? Because of his policies – which are actually Valery Jarrett’s policies – we have no eyes in the one part of the world wherein we need 20/20 vision most of all.

I used to go the church with a guy who did CIA black ops for 30 years. One day we got into a conversation on the matter of Israel and he explained that the real reason Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East is that they have the strongest Middle Eastern intel of anyone on earth. Fast forward to a few days ago when Benjamin Netanyahu contacted our president asking for an audience. Of course there was no time for the Israeli Prime Minister because Jay-Z has asked to have an audience with our dear leader at his NYC nightclub and there is no way the Celebrity in Chief could ever miss that. Then, of course, there is the matter of an unbreakable slot on Letterman while Mr. Netanyahu is in town.

Never mind that the Prime Minister of our strongest Middle Eastern ally (and our only real friend in the region) has offered to fly to Washington in order to make the scheduling work. Never mind that the entire Middle East is boiling over and all eyes are on Israel in the same way a village of cannibals might gather round with forks and knives and stare at a missionary who wandered into its midst. Never mind that our sovereign property has been attacked in what can only be called an act of war and our citizens have been murdered and dragged through the streets.

For Pete’s sake we mustn’t keep Jay-Z and David Letterman waiting. Heaven forbid we pass on a trip to Vegas in order to do our job.

Clearly this is the action of “a reasonable and sound person making the decisions for the nation,” as opposed to “a shoot-from-the-hip guy with nice hair but no substance or moral guiding principles.”

Laura Ingram was dead on right when she said, “If the Republican Party can’t win this election they should shut the party down.”

I’ll go one better; if this country re-elects Barack Obama she deserves the death that will certainly await her within the next ten years.

Don’t Worry, It’s Just a Precaution. Yeah, Right!

I had an interesting encounter last night. Every Monday night I go down and help out with the audio and photography for the Republican debates here in Cherokee County. During last night’s debates I was having problems with the PA system that I couldn’t run down – I’m not an audio guy – and after the event was over a real sound engineer approached asking if he could help.

After resisting the urge to cry for joy I engaged my new friend – we’ll call him Fred for the time being – in conversation and asked what he does. Since leaving the world of being an audio engineer he’s become a fiber optic engineer. He told me that he is currently working on a project in Charlotte, North Carolina [for this year’s Democratic convention] where he is installing a system of scanners on busy streets that will download the information contained in cell phones, laptop computers, iPads and any other type of information oriented device that comes near.

Fred’s client on the job is the FBI. Apparently the G-men assured Fred that these precautions are positioned anywhere the president makes a public appearance. Let’s say I accept that line on face value. Wouldn’t that be the job of the Secret Service? Okay, I’ll accept that the Secret Service calls upon the FBI for help in such matters. Here’s a much better and far more troubling question; when the president has left the area, does the FBI (or whatever acronym is really behind this) remove the scanners? My money is on “no they don’t”.

When the attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred it didn’t take me long to have the sick feeling that the event would offer the government a perfect opportunity to intrude into our lives in ways that would have made the KGB proud to know us. Right on cue one of the largest and certainly the most egregious expansions of government in American history showed up in the form of the Department of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act for which the constitution barely applies, if at all. If the terrorists of al-Qaeda had a naval fleet they would have flown their leader out to one their aircraft carriers where he could deliver a triumphant speech in front of a huge banner that read “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”. And he too would have been premature in the pronouncement as our government hasn’t even begun to put us under its thumb through its well sanctioned overreaction to the “terrorist threat”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “truther” and I don’t think the government had anything to do with the attacks of 9/11. On the other hand, let it never be said that our government is one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Temptation

I was reading in Matthew this morning about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness and I was reminded of the wasteland in which we find ourselves on a daily basis. Satan promised Jesus little more than short cuts to the things He already had or didn’t want. What Satan didn’t offer the Lord was anything that He needed.

Of course Jesus could have turned the rocks into bread and satisfied His fleshly hunger. Indeed, being God, Jesus could have just bid His hunger “Go away!” and it would have done so. But that would have been the short cut. How many times in the course of our day do we see the easy path to our accomplishments and take it regardless of the greater cost of cutting the corner only to realize that cost as having to live with what we did to get through the day?

Satan dared the Lord to jump off the temple pinnacle to demonstrate His command over legions of angels who would catch him before He hit the ground. How many times have we taken Satan’s bet and jumped off our own pinnacle by saying, “I can do what I want and you can’t touch me because “my people” have my back.” only to turn around and see our people shaking their heads in disgust at our words and actions?

Jesus was taken to a very high mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and guaranteed the worship and adulation of the masses if He would only fall down and worship at Satan’s feet. Have you ever flown over a big city at night or seen a photo of the Eastern Seaboard from outer space? It really is beautiful. It does indeed look glorious. Unfortunately, from 36,000 feet you can’t see the crime and corruption that comes with any gathering of people. All you see are the pretty lights. That is the bribe upon which Satan tried to hook Jesus.

I work in the entertainment industry and I can’t tell you how many lives I have seen ruined as the result of abandoning the values in life that truly count for the promise of blinding lights and adoring crowds that roar with wild approval for everything the star might say or do. But that isn’t the only place where this decimation of the soul occurs. I know a person who has, time and again, completely debased himself in order to be able to say he was backstage with the cool people just so the “glory of the kingdom” would be his in the form of having been seen in the scene.

All of the temptations and challenges Satan put before Jesus were aimed at the humanity the Lord took on in order to complete his appointed task here on Earth. He wasn’t here to prove His might and power but rather to present the Glory of God’s kingdom. Despite the fact that we call Him Lord, Jesus didn’t come to lord over us, I came to walk among us and deliver the salvation we can have never receive on our own.

Because Jesus was both God and man he was able to see through the temptations of Satan despite feeling their pull. However, we are simply and entirely human. Therefore, we have to look a lot closer and try a lot harder to identify Satan’s bribes and false promises for what they are. And even when we do spot the game, there is still the impossible task of resisting the temptation despite knowing the consequences. There is only one way we can win that fight. We have to stay as close to God through His word and the accountability of others who choose to be “like Christ”.

I love my wife and I would never do anything to hurt her or damage our marriage. But I know that if I were ever to let my guard down when I’m in the field covering a show – or anywhere else – Satan would creep through the opening with his bag of tricks. So I can never think that I am impervious to stumbling. I am grateful that I get more compliments than criticisms for my writing and people know me when I show up and they treat me with respect. But the minute I buy into that acceptance with anything more than humble gratitude I will fall flat on my face and that acceptance will be gone, I will have hurt those who truly love me and, worst of all, I will have disappointed God.

I’m glad people watch me, not because I like to be the guy everyone sees but because they also know I’m a Christian and if I conduct myself in a manner not befitting that claim they’ll call me on it if for no other reason but to say, “Look at that, another hypocritical ‘Christian’”. If that isn’t enough reason to walk right and tight, I keep reminding myself that character is what you are in the dark when only God is watching.

My Father’s Pride in Me

… and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

(Matthew 3:17 ESV)

The word Christian means “like Christ”. One who claims Christianity is one who not only accepts Jesus as their Savior but one who wishes to emulate Him in every way. There are many ways we could aspire to be like Jesus and we should strive after all of them. But imagine hearing the voice of God booming out of the sky proudly telling all who can hear that you are His son or daughter and that He starts and finishes His day being “well pleased” with you.

That mental image alone is enough to make me want to walk the straight and narrow path. God didn’t just create all things in the physical sense – that which we can see, hear and touch – He also created our ability to be set our sites upon excellence. For the person who may have difficulty understanding where I’m going, try to imagine Hank Aaron telling you what a great hitter you are or Eddie Van Halen telling you what great chops you have on a guitar. These would be high praise indeed, but they would only have come from people who rose to the top of their fields.

Now let’s raise the bar. Imagine the One who created the very ideal of excellence telling the crowd within which you stand not only that you are excellent but that He is well pleased with you. Scripture tells us to do all of our works as though working for God and not man (Colossians 3:23). I can’t tell you how inspiring this passage is if for no reason than to motivate me to draw ever closer to that day when God might say, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”