Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Media From La Drang to Khandahar: The story of Joe Galloway

I was reading a little bit about the battles of landing zone x-ray and landing zone albany the other day and aside from the outstanding valor against overwhelming odds and the the great losses suffered, a small fact stuck out in my mind.  A journalist, Joe Galloway, was awarded the bronze star for valor in the actions during this battle, the only civilian journalist to receive an award from the Army during Vietnam.  During the battle, he took up arms alongside the besieged US soldiers and assisted the wounded under fire.  The significance of this act is that he set aside his impartiality as a journalist and joined his fellow Americans in their struggle.  I don't care about anything this man has ever done or written since, when put to the test, he chose sides, and I salute his actions. 
Contrast this to today's journalists.  In a similar circumstance, I doubt the journalist would led a hand.  Quite the contrary, the American soldiers being covered would actually have to be leery of the journalists intentions.  Would a modern galloway pick up an AK-47 and assist the Taliban.  I don't think it would go this far, but it is indicative of how far we have gone in the media.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama Offers a Muslims Answer to Christian Faith Question

Questions around Obama’s faith continue to stir controversy.  Obama was asked point blank by a person “Why did you become a Christian?”  The response that followed revealed to me a person that has never had a relationship with Christ and views Christianity as a mere philosophy and not a choice.  But what was most telling was how Mr. Obama chose to answer the question.  He answered it in a way that would not be blasphemous to his possible Muslim faith.   You see, Muslims too believe in Jesus Christ.  But they don’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God, part of the Holy Trinity, and through only him can you receive salvation.  They view him as a prophet, whose “precepts” they believe in.  Similarly, Obama said that his Christianity is founded on a fact that the “precepts” of Jesus align with what he believes.   Plato had many revolutionary precepts, but he was not the savior.  Obama never said that he is a Christian because he Loves Jesus and accepted the Holy Spirit.  That is the only way I know to be a Christian, but maybe that is the problem.  Americans use Christian as a way of describing a club of belonging as opposed to a sign of a relationship with the savior.    It is such a definition that would allow Obama to slick his way into making people believe he is a Christian like themselves.   
What is also revealing is listening to conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh attempt to criticize Obama’s statement.  However, in their critique, they also miss skip the mention of being a Christian takes Love and a relationship with Christ.  I know that people like Limbaugh and Savage are agnostic, so maybe they should skip the criticism of Obama if they are going to miss the point themselves.  I would have loved to have been able to listen to Glenn Beck’s response.   Perhaps his response would have revealed the true nature of his faith.  And one more point.  Lefty Liberals who claim to be Christians can’t do so without stepping over themselves to mention their profound respect and tolerance for other faiths.  I think this is a bunch of rubbish.  Christ asks us to love our neighbor, but he didn’t say to tolerate their God.  He didn’t say to respect their path to grace.  Christ didn’t die on the Cross for the salvation of some people, while all others choose a different method.  If there was another way to salvation, I think God would have spared his son the Cross.  God is a jealous God.  He does not want us to celebrate other faiths.  He is actively pursuing the lost sheep because he wants all to come to him, not some to him, some to budha, and some to Allah and equal footing.    So let’s drop the religious tolerance and embrace Love.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Obama's Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Approach to Policy: Poison America for Attention.

This has supposed to have been the summer of recovery.  In fact, the entire Obama administration has to supposed to be the administration of recovery, yet, despite the announcement by the NBER that the recession ended in 2010, we still see massive unemployment and home foreclosures.  How can this be.  So how can a recovery look so sick?  In keeping with the recovery theme, I remembered a medical term called Munchausen syndrome by proxy.  Munchausen syndrome by proxy is where a parent causes their kid to become sick so that the parent can get attention for being the care giver.  The problem is that this only lasts so long before the child goes critical and dies and the parent’s abuse is exposed.  Similarly, it can be said that the policies of Obama are intentionally causing harm on the US economy so that he can be in the spotlight.  It even applies to foreign policy.  With debacles in Iran, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Afghanistan, and Israel.  He is doing such a poor job on all fronts, you would have to think it intentional.  Because of all of these negative factors, Obama has managed to stay in the spotlight as much as he was during his darling campaign.  Unfortunately for you and me, for people that practice Munchausen, any attention is good attention, even if it comes at the cost of your child, or your country in Obama’s case. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Republicans: A Party of Radio

Obama has been a transformational figure in his first 20 months as President.  Unfortunately, all of his change has been negative for the country, that is, all but one.  One change that Obama has brought about is the transformation of the Republican party.  Thanks to the RINO lead congressional majorities led by Bush from 2008 to 2006, a slow tide of disenfranchisement and apathy led to Democrat majorities in 2006, followed by the election of Obama when competing against the chief RINO, McCain.  The belief by the Democrats was that America had gone socialist.  This is not even close to true.  What the Democrats misread was that their victory actually occurred because people wanted more conservatism but lost trust in all politicians, so they stayed home. 
As the Obama agenda unfolded quickly, the silent majorities collective jaws hit the floor.  They saw that the insidious left had been waiting for the right to lower their guard long enough for them to push through their agenda.  Obama knew his window was small, which is why he pushed and shoved his agenda through at all costs.  But has he pushed and shoved his legislation, he inadvertently pushed and shoved the silent majority from the slumber of apathy into the alertness of combat. 
The war was to be fought against the left, but it was also to be fought against those career politicians and party elites that had caused their apathy.  On to the scene came the "tea party".  The Tea Party, which is not a real party, served as a rallying point for all of the conservative soldiers.  The commanders of this movement, Conservative Talk Radio.  Yes, Rush, Hannity, Savage, Ingram, Levine and Beck, all serve as the leaders of this movement.  They lead by providing the intelligence the conservative soldiers needed to launch their attacks.  
It is an interesting paradigm shift in politics.  Conservative radio is nothing new.  Conservative radio has been saying to vote conservative no matter what for decades now.  They didn't parse words with elites and RINO's .  They didn't look at stategies like triangulation or the new sin of conservatism, voting for the most "electable".  It is a simple message of voting what you believe not what you think can win in a complicated electoral process.  I think the paradigm shift came in that the people decided to stop listening to the professional politicians and decided to actually vote their principles regardless of the outcome, and to do so with passion. 
Say what you will about conservative radio.  It is certainly a business and they do quite well for themselves, but so to do Michael Steele and Karl Rove.  The truth is that over the last 20 years, they have been right time and again, while the establishment has been wrong time and again.  Now, in 2010, we see that the Republican party is shedding their RINO elements and becoming a party of Radio.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shawnee Mission School District to Close Schools: KCMO School District Sets Example

Nobody wants to see their local school close. Parents like the idea of the convenience of a close elementary school, and homeowners like the value a school adds to their property values (though costing them in taxes). It doesn’t matter what the make-up of the school district is, whether it is urban or suburban, school closing are guaranteed to stir people up. The prevailing attitude that comes out is that teachers think that it will crush the children’s education by forcing the students into larger classrooms. And parents buy into that same hype. But reality is something quite different. By the time decisions are finally made to close schools, the enrollment is usually around half of what the enrollment was at the districts peak. For example, Kansas City MO’s school district had the courage to close half of its schools to save money. They closed half of their schools because they have less than half the students they used to have. Parents cried and screamed, the teacher’s union issued warnings of declining scores (I don’t know if you can get much lower than they already are), but in the end, the schools were closed and we will now await the outcome in the years to come. Now cross the state to the once nationally haled and envied school district, the Shawnee Mission School District. With enrollment at slightly above half the enrollment it saw in 1971, the district is now looking at closing only 5 schools. The usual tactics are at work with people coming up with all kinds of causes and excuses for why and how this could happen. If the opponents of school closings in these school districts were to utilize the simple math the KCMO district tries to teach and the Shawnee Mission school district masters, then they would realize that their main argument, children forced into larger classrooms resulting in poorer education, is flawed. It can be broken down this way.
If schools are build based on peak enrollment, but that enrollment is now half of that enrollment, then there are too many schools. For example, if enrollment is 1000 students at the peak, and so a total of 10 schools exist, allowing for 100 kids per school, then when enrollment shrinks to 500, there is only a need for 5 schools to keep the same peak school to student ratio. Additionally, if a lower number of students to school ratio equals higher grades, why is this not true for kcmo. The answer is simple, close the schools. Save money on infrastructure and too much staff and maybe you can give the teachers you need that raise we hear about all the time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Homeschool Fundraising: What do you think about paying for books?

Now that school has started for the 2010 - 2011 school year, fundraising time has also begun.   Children will be selling trash bags, and candles, and wrapping paper, and treats to raise supplemental money for their various activities or classroom budgets.  When I was a child, I hated the fund raising blitz.  Of course, back in those days, the child had to go door to door.  Now, the parent does all the selling.  Since my family is not part of the public school system, we do not participate in fund raising, nor do we partake in the benefits of the fund raising.  For that matter, I actually contribute quite a bit more than public school families in that I pay the property taxes that fund these schools, but do not contribute to their expense.  
I pay the taxes to fund schools, but the cost of schooling my 6 children is an expense I alone must pay.  And home schooling is not cheap.  Think back to college when you had to buy your books.  Now imagine buying your books and the teacher's books as well.  Of course, we have more flexibility in choosing the age, condition, and expense of the books, but it is still not cheap.  And I must do this for all school aged children in my house, along with all of the equipment, such as desks and tables, bookshelves…
What I would like to ask, in a purely honest way, is would it be okay for me to do a fundraiser to help cover these costs to my family?  I mean, if society thinks it is okay to buy stuff to raise funds for kids to play soccer, gymnastics, band, football, scouts, and so on, how would my child be greeted at a door if he or she were to ask for funds for books for our home school?  My gut reaction is that people would feel shocked and unsupportive, or think it is a joke.  But isn’t it funnier to pay for new jersey’s for a football team over books.    And since my kids don’t have the chance to participate in those school activities, it wouldn’t be like we would be fund raising for both.  What do you think?