Sunday, December 21, 2008

Penn Gillette respects a Christian

I actually like Penn & Teller. They are a very talented duo. They are gifted humorists and illusionists. They even have an entertaining show on the Showtime network. I may not always agree with them, especially when they deal with matters of religion, but they do have the courage to tackle some tough subjects. They are avowed atheists who crudely lampoon Christianity (and other religions). Here is a podcast by Penn Gillette about his encounter with a genuine believer.

Learn about the militia and the meaning of the 2nd Amendment

Attacked by lesbians

I can tell that I am going to have fun writing a column when I get attacked by a group of lesbians and homosexual men. People will make all sorts of excuses for their abhorrent behavior and turn the tide against someone who takes a stand for traditional family values.

I am active on the web site, Facebook. I have a lot of friends from church groups, political groups, family, and both local and long distance contacts on both Facebook and Myspace. I am more active on Facebook, however.

On Facebook, people often post links to news stories of interest. This one woman posted a link to a story about how some Congressional leaders are taking a stand against the radical homosexual agenda. As a Christian, a conservative, a parent, and a citizen, I have a major problem with the agenda of the radical homosexual movement. Don't get me wrong, I could not care less what people do in the privacy of their own homes. I just don't want it flaunted in public, taught as normalcy, and certainly do not want my children (yes, soon to be plural) indoctrinated into such a paradigm.

There were several people in this discussion who were lampooning conservatives for paying attention to such a thing as an advancing homosexual agenda when we have a "financial crisis", war, and whatever else they find to be important issues of the day. I find the repulsion of the homosexual advance just as if not more important, since it is a destroyer of family, of morals, and the very order of nature.

These people were clamoring that they have civil rights and that these rights are being denied to them by ignorant, Bible thumping fundamentalists such as myself. I was told that there exists a two way separation of church and state, though it is not in the Constitution, nor were the words of Thomas Jefferson taken in their context for the usage of that term.

There are several things I noted during the discourse. The homosexuals attempted to minimize their agenda to three things: military service, monogamy, and parenting rights. There was no mention of indoctrination of children, demanding the accepting of divergent sexual behavior as a civil right, and the recognition of a class of people who choose a particular behavior as a protected minority class.

The last one is a civil argument that few are willing to tackle or be intellectually honest concerning. The truth of the matter is that homosexuality is a choice. Regardless of the spurious claims, we are talking about behavior, not about something genetic such as skin color. If such behavior is indeed genetic, we can make excuses for criminal behavior, as well. Perhaps Charles Manson has a gene in his DNA that gave him a propensity for violence and murder. If it is genetic, then he can not help that behavior and we should release him from prison, since he is not responsible for his actions. Of course that rationality is absurd, but it is the end result of that thought process.

My assertions of homosexuality being a choice, that the homosexual agenda is much more far-reaching than the three points, and that homosexuality is a sodomite, divergent behavior were never denied. Instead, the sodomites chose to find personal fault with the messenger. This is a typical liberal tactic. Since they could not refute my logic, the discussion boiled down to a lesbian attempting to claim moral superiority over me because her lover is a female veteran of the Gulf War, whereas I was never in the military. Because she sleeps with a lesbian that was honorably discharged for the armed services, I guess that makes her above reproach. She gains credibility for her lifestyle by association with someone with military service, in her opinion. Ergo, in her estimation, I am not allowed to condemn sodomy as evil. The argument is so twisted it is not funny, but somehow the tactic, as illogical as it is, gets employed by homosexuals and liberals incessantly.

When I pointed out the hypocrisy of her supporting a candidate for President such as Barack Obama, who has zero military experience, to become Commander in Chief while impugning my stance for traditional family values, the finger was again pointed to me. I was told that I had no moral grounds to say that a female war veteran and sodomite is practicing evil.

It is this sort of perverse logic that is used to excuse sin as a civil right. Those, like myself, who stand up and say that it is inexcusable behavior and not to be given the status of a civil right, will be labeled as bigots and judgmental. If people want to label me as such, fine, just stand in line. We will continue to face such moral decay and cries for civil rights where they do not exist. Resist the cry. Stand for righteousness. There is an ultimate judge to whom we all must give account.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An excellent talk on the proposed auto industry bail out

This video was made just before the Senate voted down the bail out. HOWEVER, make no mistake that it will come up again soon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New addition to the LaPlante family

For years, I have wanted a family. I am not just talking about having a wife and in-laws. I first got married at age 26, back in 1994. I really wanted children, but my then wife was resistant to the idea like an Army mule. At one time she was receptive to the concept prior to marriage, but then she went right back to the disdainful attitude she once had towards children.

I have always loved children. Little kids often cling to me and climb on me like a jungle gym. I have always loved having little cousins, nephews, and children of friends to play with. I have enjoyed having cats and dogs over the years, as well. However, it was never the same as having your own. I languished and literally wept for years over being childless. I was the only one of the five LaPlante brothers to not have children.

Almost a year and a half ago, my now ex-wife was caught in adultery and she left to live with the man with whom she was cheating. I went through Hell with that situation for various reasons I have already blogged. Three months after she left, I met and dated one woman that I really liked for about 3 weeks, but she turned out not to be as she appeared on the surface. It was a crushing blow to have just gone through a betrayal, false legal accusations, and separation; then to go through a fast moving but very odd relationship that ended abruptly. I can say with all sincerity that I was wronged in that relationship and I was hurt by this woman.

One week after that relationship suddenly ended, I met Sharon. December 3, 2007 was a day that changed my whole life. That was one year ago today. God brought an intelligent, attractive, affectionate, loyal, caring woman into my life and we clicked immediately. After knowing each other just one week, we knew in what direction we were headed with the relationship. We both wanted a family together. She wanted another child (she already had a wonderful five year old son, who was four when we met) and I wanted my first. On October 12th of this year, we married. We has prayed, talked about, and shared about wanting to start a family together as soon as we got married.

I remember when the two of us were traveling for a day trip to the beach and I asked Sharon if she was happy. She said she was very happy. I asked her what would make her happier. She answered, "Marry me." I told her that as soon as I could legally do so, I would. We still had some legal matters to which I needed to attend, such as getting my divorce finalized. I asked her, "What else?" to which she replied, "Impregnate me." I thought that was an amazing response, being most unexpected in verbiage but not sentiment. I wanted to do that very thing with all my heart.

After our wedding day, we got away for our week long honeymoon in Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. We both love the OBX (as it called). I had been there more often than she had and knew the area more so than she. If memory serves correctly, she said she had only been there once previously. We had a wonderful time on our honeymoon. It was a great time of intimacy, of relaxation, of reflection, and joy. It was also apparently a productive time...or reproductive time, as the case was.

My men's group had prayed about us having a family quickly. I had shared with my pastor about wanting this very thing. I had cried out to God about wanting children. I am now 40 years old and had been feeling gypped out of having kids and having wasted 14 years of my life for a long time. I have enjoyed loving on my new niece and nephew (Sharon's sister's children) whenever I have been able to do so and had been pretty much already a step daddy to Sharon's son for months before our wedding day. I have been his daily daddy, supporting him, playing with him, teaching him, and doing all the things daddies do for their children even if though he is not my biological son. I have endeavored to treat him as my own son as much as I can within the circumstances I find myself. But those circumstances are for another discussion for another day.

On Sunday afternoon (I am writing on Wednesday night), Sharon was not feeling well. She was extremely sick on Monday, stayed home from work, and went to see a doctor. She was advised to take a pregnancy test as a precaution. On Tuesday, my mother-in-law got on Sharon's case about taking a pregnancy test, since she was certain that she was pregnant and did not just have the flu. Her grandmother thought the same thing and just this weekend swore she was pregnant. To placate her mother, Sharon took a test and it was positive. She took another later on in the day with the same result. I bought a different brand as a control test and she took that one a few hours later. All three tests were positive. After just 51 days of marriage, we may had just found out that we are pregnant.

With that knowledge in hand, we called a local OBGYN practice for an appointment today. The last time I had called seeking information months ago, they said that there was about a one month wait to get an appointment since they were so booked. They got us in this afternoon. Sharon had been sick often during the day and had not been able to keep any food down. Another test in the office proved positive. We were not going to get an ultrasound done, we were told, since they were booked for the whole day. However, just before leaving, they squeezed us in just before the contract ultrasound technician left for the day.

We got to see our baby on the live results screen. He or she is just a tiny little thing, estimated to be 7 weeks, 2 days old according to the size. We have an estimated due date of July 20 of 2009. The incredible thing is that the estimate of 7 weeks or so puts the date of conception right in the first few days of our honeymoon. Our prayers were answered.

I am so very grateful and joyful that I am finally going to have a baby with a wonderful woman that I am proud to call my wife. Thank you, Lord God, for your abundant blessings.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I know, I know. So long between posts

For some time, I have been reticent to write too much. I still have one outlet for writing, but I have been mighty quiet. This entire election season, I have decided to refrain from too much commentary. I do not know if it is a season I am going through or what. For the last year, almost, I have not been blogging much. I have not been doing my talk show in the internet. I have, however, been doing my teaching show with two other guys. I just have not felt like blogging too much for some reason. It used to bring me satisfaction. Then again, so did collecting firearms and being on firearms related web sites. I have seriously backed off from that, as well. I shut down one of my web sites. I have focused more on my relationship with my (now) wife and family, some studies, church service, reading, personal interests, and just plain being quiet. Maybe I will pick up the blogging again soon. I don't know.

Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think I am

I was accosted a little bit ago by a little woman clutching a bag full of gospel tracts, a Bible, and other belongings. She was all of 4 foot 11 at the most. This may sound mean, but she would certainly make the top 10 list of ugliest women I have ever met in my lifetime. She had a bulbous nose that almost looked like a male appendage dangling from her face, a mustache, and she could floss her teeth with rope there were so many of them missing. All of this aside, she was rude and obnoxious.

When Sharon and I got out of the car a few minutes ago, she came up to us as we crossed the street for our stop at Creech's Drug Store. Sharon got an antibiotic prescription because she has the flu. This lady asked us if we knew the Lord. I informed her that both my wife and I were born again Christians. We kept walking, but she started to follow like a puppy dog. She asked if I was Spirit filled, to which I replied I was. By this time, Sharon kept walking and was entering the store. Then she inquired as to how often I read the Bible or had prayer time. I was getting annoyed at this point, since the purpose of evangelism is not to pester the saved, but to save the lost.

When I stopped and sighed, she said, "Oh, that's it, isn't it? You are comfortable and need to have a relationship with Him. You need to get on fire for the Lord. I have been saved 31 years now and am as on fire today as the day I got saved. You need to do [thus and so]..." I attempted to discuss that issue with her, but she kept being rude and running over even the first two words out of my mouth. When I did get in any words, I attempted to let her know that she is sadly mistaken if she thinks that the measure of spirituality is how much you read the Bible or spend in prayer and that she is being extremely legalistic if she believes that if people do not spend as much time reading scripture as she deems we should, then we are somehow weak or lukewarm.

She quickly informed me that she is not under the law and is therefore not legalistic. I let her know right quick that she is a Pharisee if she is attempting to lay a standard on others to her liking. Of course, she came back with the obligatory quotes that if you are lukewarm (according to her definition, of course) then God would spew you out of His mouth, that we are to study to show ourselves approved, yadda, yadda, yadda. She said that I was going to miss "the rapture" if I was not on fire and basically that her prescription for a measure of fire intensity was appropriate.

I informed her that she just exemplified why so many people do not respond to her message, which she refuted. She just claimed that it was divine providence that she met me and was to warn me...all because I was not in agreement with her methodology and did not feel like being pestered. It is one thing to preach on the streets. I have done so. I also preached in prisons for several years. I have seen hundreds take decisions for Jesus. I have also seen many self righteous, pompous asses give their own prescriptions for the way to have a relationship with God. This ugly little lady, though I admire the fact that she is preaching the gospel to people, is unfortunately just one more self righteous individual that places her standards upon other people. If the others do not measure up to her, then they are less right in the sight of God and need to follow her example.

I feel bad that I was annoyed with this lady and that I felt the way I did about her appearance. However, I do not feel bad about my resisting her call to the way to being "rapture ready" or to a right relationship with God. As soon as I told her that I was a born again Christian, that should have ended all efforts of evangelism. Instead, she chose to be offensive, rude, and legalistic.

And people wonder why their efforts to win the lost are oft in vain. I forgot more scripture than this lady probably ever memorized. She has no idea what sort of study or prayer habits I have or the fellowship I have with my Lord or my fellow believers. She has no idea the topics of discussion I have with others nor the measure of walking out my faith I exemplify. I will applaud a non-charismaniac who gives to and ministers to the needs of those who have needs over someone who randomly uses the shotgun approach to evangelism and is obnoxious any day.

When I informed her that I was in the ministry for years and that she is not going to get away with perpetrating a false rhema upon me, since I have walked in that calling for years, she immediately shut down, got all the more defensive, and made the excuse that she had to go catch other people she saw on the street before she left in disgust.

Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A former classmate, a hero

I went to school with two brothers, Scott and Lee Dimond. We played football together, had classes together, and were involved with the local fire department together. Lee Dimond died years ago, I believe of an accidental drowning. His brother, Scott, became a local police officer. I had no idea that he had enlisted in the military. He was recently killed in Afghanistan by an explosive device. It was in today's Citizen. I am saddened to read this, but proud of my old friend. Here is a link to a video of a British journalist report of the bombing. He was traveling with the truck that hit the explosive.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

AWESOME movie line from Bob Hope

So add me to the list of those being threatened

Boo frickity hoo. Yet more threats against people exercising free speech and pointing out facts about Obama.
Sen. Barack Obama is warning TV stations and asking the Justice Department to intervene in an attempt to block the airing of an ad by a non-profit group that links him to an unrepentant domestic terrorist.

The spot by the American Issues Project questions Obama's ties to William Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground organization who boasted of a series of bomb attacks at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol four decades ago.
So add me to the list of those you will threaten, Barack Hussein Obama. I have started to call my dog, Barack O-dog-a.

If you can't stand the heat, Obama, well, you know the rest. Just within the past few days, I have been called a "neocon" (pretty un-frickin' believable, if you know what constitutes being a neocon), been ripped into by ignorant people who rewrite history, and arrogant for pointing out the rewrite. Oh, well. If Obama has been hanging out with domestic terrorists, then it should come to light.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My honeymoon hideout

This place is mine for a week. I am not going to say where, but it is going to be my honeymoon hideout for a week. I am so looking forward to it, it isn't funny. Not only do I just want to get away for a while, but I am looking forward to having my new bride by my side. Thank you, Jesus.

Now that was funny.

From Ann Coulter:
This week, Barack Obama's challenge is to select a running mate who's young, hip, and whose accomplishments in life don't overshadow Obama's. Allow me to suggest Kevin Federline.
With all due respect to Ann Coulter, Federline did get to sleep with Britney Spears and make babies with her, so that seems to be more of a life accomplishment than Barack Obama has ever done.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Actual conversations with a 5 year old

I had two conversations with a five year old that just make me chuckle. If you have ever read the comic strip, "Calvin and Hobbes", you may remember some of the witty explanations given to Calvin by his father. I remember one in particular in which Calvin asked why some movies were in black and white. The father explained that at one time the entire world was black and white and eventually turned colored. I loved that particular strip. I often have the same sort of wit in talking to my five year old. These are actual conversations that took place within the last 24 hours.
John: Did I have breakfast yet?
Me: You don't know?
John: No.
Me: You mean you don't know whether or not you have eaten breakfast yet?
John: No.
Me: In that case, the answer is "Yes, you have".
John: Oh, OK.

And another one.
John: Mr. Troy, what is a pawn shop? (as we drove by the one in Selma)
Me: They sell chess pieces.
John: Oh.
John's grandmother, who was sitting beside me in the car: (hand over mouth) (snicker, snicker)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Praying for rain

I know that it has been almost a week since I posted a blog entry. I have saved some story links for commentary, but have just not felt like writing. Anyway, here is a story I found amusing and figured I would share, anyway. Personally, I think it is a great idea.

From The Rocky Mountain News:
Focus on the Family Action pulled a video from its Web site today that asked people to pray for "rain of biblical proportions" during Barack Obama's Aug. 28 appearance at Invesco Field at Mile High to accept the Democratic nomination for president.

Stuart Shepard, director of digital media at Focus Action, the political arm of Focus on the Family, said the video he wrote and starred in was meant to be "mildly humorous."

But complaints from about a dozen Focus members convinced the organization to pull the video, said Tom Minnery, Focus Action vice president of public policy.

"If people took it seriously, we regret it," Minnery said Monday.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

End Obama

I thought it. I made it. Simple, yet it says volumes.
end obama

Tax hike alert!

Johnston County property owners are about to take it on the chin again. I have no frickin' idea how construction costs can suddenly go up by 50%, but I do believe we are getting hosed. Now we are going to pay for it. Thanks, Johnston County. My taxes are about to go up yet again. I just got an increase in property taxes two years in a row from Selma. My electricity bill just went up 11% or so. My trash collection just went up another $2 a month. Now our property taxes for the county are about to go up because of a school being built with 50% cost over runs. Thanks. From WTSB's news page:
$30 Million Loan Will Pay For New Cleveland High School
Johnston County Commissioners have agreed to borrow $30 million to pay for a new Cleveland High School. However, in borrowing the money, the county can’t rule out a possible property tax increase to cover the debt. Higher costs for steel and petroleum products have pushed prices way up for proposed high schools in Cleveland and Corinth Holders. Voters had approved $60 million in a 2007 school bond referendum to pay for both schools at a price tag of $30 million each. However, construction cost estimates have risen to about $45 million for each school. By shifting most of the money from the bond to the Corinth Holders project and borrowing $30 million for the Cleveland High, both schools can be built and opened by the fall of 2011. But it could come with as much as a three cents tax increase. “Certain financial models show the possibility of that,” County Manager Rick Hester told WTSB, “but in the past we have been fortunate enough to absorb that, and we hope to do that this time.” The County will borrow $30 million from First Citizens Bank at 4.14 percent and repay the note over a 19-year period. Commissioners hope to use lottery funds to make the annual payments, however the county’s proceeds from the state lottery vary each year. Commissioners unanimously approved the loan with Commissioner Jeff Carver recusing himself due to being a board member of First Citizens Bank.

Thought police violate 2nd Amendment

According to World Net Daily
A new report to the Connecticut state legislature shows police have used the state's unique gun seizure law to confiscate more than 1,700 firearms from citizens based on suspicion that the gun owners might harm themselves or others.

The state's law permits police to seek a warrant for seizing a citizen's guns based on suspicion of the gun owner's intentions, before any act of violence or lawbreaking is actually committed.
This is just plain illegal. I do not care what the Connecticut law says. The United States Constitution says
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
This right was deemed a PERSONAL right in the Heller decision just recently.

Ever see the movie Minority Report? It is about a crime division that used the precognition abilities of three people to determine future crime and arrest people for crimes they will commit, not that they have committed. This is no different. It is just an example of thought police taking away someone's rights based upon speculation. And it is wrong. It is illegal. It needs to stop.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

One of the nicest things I have seen written about me in a long time

I am a mother of a wonderful 5 year old boy; I am engaged to a wonderful man when I didn't think I was meant to fall in love again. I thank God every day for bringing him into my life.
From my sweetie's Facebook profile. I love you, baby, more than you will ever know.

At least a few Republicans grew some gonads

Not many, but at least a few GOP members in Congress have decided to act like they have some 'nads when it comes to lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling. I wish that there were a lot more men like this. So the government may shut down. So what? It happened before and we did fine. As a matter of fact, the first time I tried to go to the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk, the park was shut down because of the government shut down. The problem was that government employees still got paid. They got a free paid vacation out of it. Refuse to pay employees when they are not working and I guarantee that more employees will take an active roll in pressuring their representatives to do the right thing and let drilling happen. Click on the link I gave you for the whole story.

I may be a chunky monkey, but I still say "Whack the guy!"

I almost laughed out loud and woke up my family last night when I read this article about some shmuck that is on death row and about to be executed that says he is too fat to be executed. His claim is that it is hard to get his veins for drawing blood so it would be hard to put him to sleep for lethal injection, therefore making it cruel punishment. Apparently there is speculation that the drug he is taking, Topamax, will also make him resistant to the drug initially used to anesthetize him. So? Just give him a helluva lot more of it.

By the way, Topamax often causes weight loss when it is used. I know two people that have been on the drug and that was a side effect. Not a bad one, if you have to have one. My doctor put me on a drug for a while last year and I stopped taking it because it, er, ah, well, let's just say that this is a limp subject and I will not write about it further.

It is never tremendously easy for nurses to draw my blood, to give me an IV, or for me to donate blood because I am a big guy. That does not make me run from needles and getting jabbed. I tough it out. He raped and murdered two women. He wasn't too porky to commit the crime, so he certainly is not too porky to be put to death. You do not need to hit a vein to put a bullet in his head. I volunteer to do it, too. Don't give me "thou shalt not kill", since that would NOT be murder. It would be justice. It would be fulfilling GOD's command.

Whack this guy before he wastes more of the taxpayer's money. Now he is wasting MY tax dollars because he has filed a federal lawsuit. Sorry, but the feds should never touch this case. It is a matter for the State of Ohio, not the federal court system.

Here is the news story video.

Losing a $245k house for a $50 ticket is just wrong

If you think you own your own house, just stop paying property taxes on it for a couple of years and you will find that you are just a serf that rents it from the government. I'll bet that you never thought a $50 parking ticket could get your house confiscated from you, though.

I will admit that the victim in this story was a moron for not paying a ticket after repeated warnings. Even after the fine became over $1500 and this dope had $2600 in the bank but never paid it, he should not have to lose his house over it. Yet, some dipstick judge thought it was worth taking away a man's home to recover the cost of the fine plus fees and whatever else got tacked on to the amount. The house was worth 163 times the inflated amount and 4900 times the original amount. That is a hefty penalty to place upon a man for just being a moron. It is unjust and should never have been allowed to happen.

Here is the story. Welcome to Amerika.

This sounds eerily familiar

Monday, August 04, 2008

Will a humongo new shopping center be coming to Selma?

I have heard for almost two years about a possible new large shopping center coming to town at exit 97 and Hwy 70 near JR's. Originally, the story was that a Home Depot and maybe a Target were coming. Recently, I have heard more rumors. Now there is a formal news story on the subject in The Selma News. The developer presented before the Selma Town Council on Wednesday. By the way, I am not so much in favor of constant special meetings of the town council as a matter of public policy, but that is beside the point.

The developer mentioned possible tenants as Target, Bass Pro Shop, Cabellas, JC Penney, and IKEA, along with up-scale restaurants and motels. Keep in mind that these are just suggested POSSIBILITIES. I am all for such a development, so don't get me wrong. However, keep in mind at this point, the developer is selling the idea and soliciting getting $15 million or so in reimbursements from the town for infrastructure improvements. I am not for corporate welfare programs. I am, however, for the town paying for bringing needed utilities to customers and helping with roads that benefit the town, not just the developer.

Personally, I am dubious over the claim of a Cabella's. I would LOVE to have a Cabella's. However, one already was proposed for Four Oaks and that project crashed and burned. Cabella's announced that they were going to put one in to Richmond, VA and figured that one here would be too close. I find that claim fallacious, but whatever. Just look at the map of their existing locations on their web site (the link I gave). I am not going to drive three hours to go to a Cabella's. If they reconsider because of a better location, highway access, and other development, then hallelujah. I would be thrilled with a Bass Pro Shops, as well.

Anyway, this development would certainly be good for the town for several reasons. First, the developer wants to be voluntarily annexed. Great. They would bring a lot of revenue for electricity and water, if they were to become Selma utility customers. The tax revenue would be wonderful. Other development would certainly come as a result, as well as possible residents.

It will certainly be interesting to see what "develops" in this situation. I am all for development of fallow ground and expanding this area. I am dubious as to the claims that "as much as $500 million in sales tax is leaving the county each year to go to Wake, Wayne, Wilson and Nash counties." That sounds like an excessively high estimate. It is part of the sales pitch.

I do agree with this quote, though.
Dougherty added that Selma is unique in the county in that it is ideally situated to host such a regional complex. He cited I-95 and US 70 and major thoroughfares. He said Exit 98 is excellent for such a complex because it has great access. "There’s no other city right on the an interchange like this," said the developer, who has had an office in Selma for the past two years.
Troy's note: Exit 98 must be a typo, since 98 is the next exit up the interstate and is not the JR's exit. That is exit 97. Access on and off 98 sucks and is difficult, and it could not support the heavy traffic that would come from such a complex. Exit 97 could. If it is not a typo and a direct quote, then it must have been a faux pas.

Either way, I am looking forward to seeing the addition to the town.

Welkum too edukashun n da Yoonited Statz uv Amerika

When the Selma Elementary School instituted a dress code, I pretty much supported the idea. Even when I was in elementary and high school, there was an expectation of appropriate attire. As I look back at old school pictures, I marvel at the clothes we wore, although they were not as risque as outfits often are today. They were funky looking clothes, but it was, after all, the 1970's. I still chide my mother for dressing me in such weird clothes whenever we look over a photo album together. In high school, I grew up in an area where flannel button shirts, blue jeans, and work boots were normal attire for a large portion of the school year. We wore Buck knives in leather holsters on our hips (just like in "The Dukes of Hazzard") to school every day and never thought anything of it, nor did the school administrators. A Buck knife was seen as a necessary tool, not a weapon. Anyway, rabbit trail aside, I supported the school dress code until recently.

As I had written previously, I have been active in the life of a boy who is now five and about to enter kindergarten. In a couple of months, this boy will become my step-son, so I have an active interest in his success at school and getting him prepared for it. His grandmother took him shopping for some clothes, but you don't generally find school uniforms at Macy's. I took him and his mother to Target last weekend to buy the requisite school clothes and supplies we would need. After all, the school system was kind enough to post the uniform code and school supply list on the internet for us to find (after hunting down the information by surfing a while).

Like I said, I was all for a school dress code. I believe in modest apparel. What I found, however, was that clothes that should be perfectly acceptable by public standards are not necessarily so for school uniforms. The real trick was finding clothing for winter while still in August, of which we found nothing but a few pairs of pants that met the criteria. We did find some polo or golf type shirts. The real problem was finding them in solid colors with no brand logo on them, and in the appropriate size 5. The boy already had some nice, appropriate shirts in his closet, but they had stripes and a Polo logo. Those shirts are plenty nice for church, but not for sending a tot to kindergarten, apparently. We can buy solid shirts in orange, red, blue, purple, black, white, or whatever color we want, but they can not have logos, pockets, or stripes. If the school REALLY was shooting for a school uniform, one style of shirt of one color should be required, but I digress.

For pants, a good looking pair of corduroys or nice, new blue jeans are taboo. Wow, that would have shot my whole school career attire down, except for the bell bottom hound's tooth or plaid pants my mother used to buy me, along with white patent leather belt. I do find the requirement for cotton twill only to be a bit excessive. We are talking about 5 to 10 year olds, not teenagers. For kindergarteners, we are talking about children who just recently learned to wipe themselves after using the bathroom, may have just learned to tie their shoes, and have recently gotten used to the use of forks. They may still often use "sippy cups". Maybe my future step-son is the "Messy Marvin" of his day (wow, that is dating me a bit), but there is extensive clean up after each meal. He play rough with me, his toys, and my dog, so I am dubious about not putting the lad in denim to go to school.

I am not disturbed so much by the cost of adhering to the dress code, though. I would have to buy him new clothes anyway, since he has grown like a weed just since I first got to know him late last year. We did find some $5 polo shirts and $10 pants. It was the exclusivity without adherence to a true uniform standard that sort of annoyed me.

Here is what DID annoy me...the school supply list. Parents are expected to purchase an entire shopping list of materials and simply turn them over to the school at the time of a parental conference. We are expected to furnish brand name crayons, markers, scissors, baby wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer, Ziploc bags, tissues, dry erase markers, napkins, highlighter markers, index cards, and more. We are not supposed to put the child's name on anything except his change of clothes and his book bag.

I am sorry, but the last time I looked, we still live in America, not the former USSR. Furthermore, I just got my Johnston County property tax bill this week and I am wondering why I am paying all that money in taxes, the school system keeps asking for more money, we constantly are having school bond referendums, and I am being asked to supply basic classroom materials. Does the school not have a janitor? Do they not have cases of paper towels somewhere in that building? Are the teachers not supplied with dry erase markers to write on their boards? Chalk was used in my day, right through college and that worked fine, but I can understand using dry erase boards now. But still, the school system, with all the millions of dollars we are paying in taxes for their operation, should be furnishing something as basic as paper towels. If the school can not afford the materials, I am sure we can afford enough dry erase markers for the entire school system by cutting Superintendent Parker's salary to a reasonable level for what he does for a living. I will do the same job only better for half of what he makes. That is an official offer to the Johnston County Board of Education, by the way. If not that, then one less assistant principal at the elementary school would furnish all the paper towels we would ever need.

Why I mention the USSR is that by confiscating the materials that we are furnishing for the classroom as a whole, we are teaching communism. When I was in kindergarten, all I had to show up with was my daily lunch and/or snack. The rest was taken care of by the school system, which was much smaller than that of Johnston County with a much smaller budget and much older facilities. Furthermore, we learned. We did not have issues in which we did not pass mandates for performance. As a matter of fact, the state where I grew up used to consistently score in the top of the national SAT averages while having the lowest per capita state expenditure per student for education in the country. Thus, I know that education is not a matter of dollars and materials can be furnished for said education.

Sure, when I got older, I had to furnish my own book covers, but an old paper bag from a shopping trip to the A&P did fine. I furnished my own notebooks eventually, but they were MY notebooks for my use alone. By taking the crayons that I purchase and pooling them with that of others, we are employing a communist system. I was told by the office staff that 60% of the students at Selma Elementary are Hispanic and from families in which English is not the primary language. If Jose and Maria can not afford to buy a 27 cent box of Crayolas, that is their problem. It is not my responsibility to furnish their children with crayons, markers, glue, and paper towels. I bought the crayons, so I know how much they cost. I bought my boy some pencils with his name on them some time ago. I surmise that he will not be able to use them at school, since not all children are so named. We are supposed to protect the self esteem of some illegal immigrant children or even some poor family's kids by furnishing them with Crayolas? All this redistribution of school supply wealth has got to be all one big joke, right? That is liberal academia social engineering with lower educational results for you.

First, I am ticked that the schools are not furnishing these supplies after we are constantly being asked to "pony up" an ever increasing amount of tax dollars for their operation. Then I am extremely annoyed that our children are being taught communisitic principles for politically correct reasons. If you can not afford a trip to Wal-Mart or the dollar store for your child to bring his/her own supplies and not take from others, then I suggest that you forgo that next DVD purchase, 12 pack of beer, tattoo addition, or carton of cigarettes and buy some 22 cent glue sticks and crayons (at least the non big named crayons were 22 cents, but the school specifically requested the five cent higher Crayola brand). Better yet, let the school system slash its over bloated bureaucracy and maybe we could afford to buy the needed supplies instead of double taxing us by demanding a grocery list of supplies before the first day of school. It gets better, though. We were informed that we will be furnished an additional supply list later. Doggone communists of academia. I miss America.

At least I know that someone on Congressman Price's staff has read my rant

I found this on my site statistics today. I will assume it is Congressman Price's staff, although it could be someone else. Somebody emailed the link to my blog. Thank you, whomever. I hope that the Congressman enjoys being in the same category as communists and hippies. I see others have seen my blog this post being emailed, as well. Cool.
Domain Name : house.gov (U.S. Government)
IP Address : 143.231.249.# (Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives)
ISP : Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives
Continent : North America
Country : United States
State : District of Columbia
City : Washington
Language : English (U.S.)
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Visit Entry Page http://troylaplante....moonbat-wannabe.html
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rep. Price is a moonbat wannabe

Representative David Price is a moonbat enabler and wannabe, it seems. His leftist political views disgust me, quite honestly. I can not watch his show on cable channel 24 or I will end up shouting at the TV and raising my blood pressure to a dangerous level and I will need massive doses of Lisinopril to keep my BP lowered.

This liberal dinosaur is calling for a federal investigation into Aero Contractors here in Johnston County. From The Smithfield Herald:
U.S. Rep. David Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat, has called on Congress to investigate a Johnston County company accused of ferrying terror suspects to countries where they are tortured.

On July 16, Price wrote a letter to the chairmen of two House subcommittees asking them to launch an investigation of Aero Contractors Ltd., which is based at the Johnston County Airport. Christina Cowger, spokeswoman for N.C. Stop Torture Now, said in a news release that Price’s involvement “is helping lead a growing movement to expose the use of public airports and private or nominally-private contractors to carry out the Bush administration’s kidnapping-for-torture program.”

Cowger’s group has been among the most vocal opponents of so-called “terror flights” and Aero’s possible role in them.

Activists have repeatedly called on state and federal officials to investigate the company since a “60 Minutes” report linked the company in 2006 to the war on terror.

Aero Contractors has denied the allegations.
Did you catch that handy phrase? "kidnapping-for-torture program". As far as I am concerned, put old Abdul on a waterboard. I wrote about this before and even put it in the paper.

In October of last year, I wrote columns, blogged, and did a talk show about moonbats that were protesting Aero Contractors with a big rally here in Johnston County. Just this weekend, the same sorts of whack jobs were in Raleigh protesting a war that has not even happened.

This is how scant the coverage was on WRAL's web site, which was about as brief as the actual video package.
A group protesting against a possible war with Iran demonstrated in Raleigh Saturday.

The North Carolina Coalition to Stop War on Iran held a march and rally to protest the growing threat of western-led attacks on Iran. Similar protests took place in 60 cities across the country.

What pissed me off about the news story was, as I wrote to the leader of the counter protest group:
[I] caught the 11 PM news on WRAL. Their footage made it look like there were hundreds of moonbats but only about a half dozen Eagles. Their footage had to have been purposely skewed to show a huge protest with a bunch of moonbats all together. When the Eagles were shown, there were only a handful in the shot which made y'all look like a loony, lonely bunch of extremists. That rather pissed me off when I saw the report.
I am going to take a little liberty by sharing his response.
We have learned, over the last two years, to never, ever expect decent coverage by the press. I'm working on my official report right now. As you'll see there were some interesting incidents that were very telling, me thinks.
The truth of the matter is what this same man shared with those on his email list (which includes me)
Here's a quick summary of the August 2 events in Raleigh, I'm still processing photos and will have the official AAR online as soon as I can.

Numbers:
It seems everyone always wants to know about the numbers. Head counts are something I never remember to do, but others tell me it was 42 to 31.
That's 42 moonbats, and 31 patriots. So my original estimate from mid-last-week appears to have been more accurate than the RPD's prediction of 300. But that's the way it always goes, we never know what's going to happen till it happens. I'm happy to report that Rolling Thunder accounted for a substantial portion of that number .

The moonbats gathered on the south side of the capital grounds. We rallied at the Vietnam Memorial on the north-east corner, and after a few minutes we began moving over to the south side. The capital grounds police stopped us just short of contact, and we were told that in order to stay on capital property we would have to abandon signs and flags. The answer was "We dont think so". We abandoned Capital property and moved across the street to the sidewalk where the Capital Grounds Police had no jurisdiction.

That was just as good, actually better. When the anti-Americans began their parade they had to pass right by us, so that worked out just fine. They marched around and through downtown chanting slogans and waving their anti-American signs (no flags, America that is). We followed them, with flags. Each and every person on the streets and sidewalks that witnessed their passing were informed by the Eagles that the previous Hate-America message was brought to them by the American Communist Party.
When they stopped (in front of the courthouse and in front of the Obama HQ) to chant and give speeches, the Eagles used the opportunity to move in close and add to what was being said. We pointed out that none of them had an American flag and offered to provide one. At one point, one of us walked into the middle of their sidewalk rally and offered a 3x5 American flag and pole to the leader of the group. It was refused. The flag was offered to seven different people, six declined even though their hands were empty. The seventh person took the flag and handed away his anti-war protest sign.
Of course, this made the police very nervous and we were asked to move away .... again.

After that, it all sorta fizzled out. By the time they returned to their original rally point - with less than half their original numbers - it didnt seem worth the trouble any more. We made a couple more offers on flags. The offers were declined, except 2 little 6-inch flags were accepted.

And that's the way it was, sez I.
So that you will know why I am publishing this, it is because the same bunch and ilk that populate Code Pink, MoveOn.org, and Stop Torture Now are the same sort of hippies who would populate this event. Actually, here is a link to some of the propaganda by the sponsoring organization. What they conveniently do not tell you is that the local group doing the march is an avowed COMMUNIST group. Surf that site for a while and enjoy.

Now you know why I call this blog Hippie Puncher.

Talk about bad karma!

Actual headline: Stampede kills 145 at remote Hindu temple in India
Story link here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Obama's $1k energy rebate just plain one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of

Barack Obama is merely pandering for votes by playing class envy. He has obviously never studied economics. This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of, and I have heard a bunch of idiotic proposals by politicians in the past.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday called for a $1,000 "emergency" rebate to consumers to offset soaring energy costs amid fresh signs of a struggling economy with the nation's unemployment rate climbing to a four-year high.

Obama told a town-hall meeting the rebate would be financed with a windfall profits tax on the oil industry.

Click here for the whole story. There is no need for "emergency" relief. The idea of "windfall" profits is just plain fallacious. Furthermore, to abscond the profits of a legitimate corporation to redistribute the wealth is just plain communism. There is not hiding that concept; Obama is just plain endorsing full on communism.

The hypocritical part is that Obama flat out refuses to support the idea of offshore drilling to increase the supply of energy. You can not have it both ways. We would have lower energy costs and relief for consumers by having an increased supply. Simple economics dictate that increased supply equals lower cost. But Obama is apparently too blind to this by his communistic paradigm or is just too stupid to realize this. Perhaps he does know and is flat out lying for political gain, which is not beyond the scope of possibility, nay is probability.

Wal-Mart knows what is at stake. I wish all did.

The largest private employer gets it. Why can't the rest of America?
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart.

In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.

According to about a dozen Wal-Mart employees who attended such meetings in seven states, Wal-Mart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return, and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise.

Click here to read the rest of the story. A Democrat controlled government will kill more than labor costs at Wal-Mart. It will bankrupt the rest of us, too.

Here is my wish list. Buy me something.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Since Shearon Harris is in Wake County, Orange County Commissioners can go pound sand

When Berkley East, otherwise known as Orange County, NC annexes Wake County, then they can have a say in what goes on in Wake County. Until then, the Orange County Board of Commissioners needs to STFU.

From WRAL:
Progress Energy might build two more nuclear reactors at its Shearon Harris facility in Wake County. However, the company first has to get approval to do it.

Before company officials make up their minds, some local elected officials are moving forward with plans to oppose it.

The company is in the midst of public hearings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a requirement to build new reactors.

Progress Energy officials said a growing customer base and a higher demand for power justify the expansion. The company expects to add 500,000 customers in the next 20 years.

The approval process could take years, but Orange County isn't wasting any time. The Board of Commissioners called a special meeting for Thursday night to consider a resolution to oppose Progress Energy's permit to expand Shearon Harris.

The resolution says Orange County is concerned about the potential for spontaneous combustion of spent nuclear fuel rods during low water conditions. It also says expansion of the plant would enhance the attraction of the facility for terrorist attacks.

Wake County leaders are on record in support of the plan. The school district approves.
Oddly enough, the liberals in Orange County must be in support of burning more fossil fuels to run power plants and therefore, in their eyes, pollute the environment and contribute to (non-existent) global warming. The need for more electricity production is there, but leave it to whining liberals to try to stop progress. (Ha, ha, Progress Energy...get it?)

...and Obama wants to raise their taxes?

the income share earned by the top 1 percent of tax returns and the tax share paid by that top 1 percent have once again reached all-time highs. In 2006, the top 1 percent of tax returns paid 39.9 percent of all federal individual income taxes and earned 22.1 percent of adjusted gross income, both of which are significantly higher than 2004 when the top 1 percent earned 19 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) and paid 36.9 percent of federal individual income taxes.
These are the people who hire workers. More taxation = less money to use to hire workers = layoffs or lower wages for lower income workers. Stupid. Economics 101. Source: The Tax Foundation

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So much for the First Amendment

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that we have freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


A town official praying a specific way does NOT violate the establishment clause. It is common sense that CONGRESS has not set forth an official religion when a town councilman prays to open a meeting in his municipality. There is no wall of separation between church and state found anywhere in the Constitution. That comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut who were concerned that there may be an official denomination (not necessarily religion in general) chosen as the official national religion.

As a matter of fact, it was in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (sometimes called the Philadelphia Convention) where Benjamin Franklin, arguably the least spiritual of the delegates, brought it to the attention of the assembly that they had failed to begin each day's activities with prayer and beseeched that they start doing so.

Being totally ignorant, secularly minded, and having the "spirit of anti-Christ", all three judges of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that praying in the name of Jesus is unconstitutional. Here is the article on the topic. Here is an excerpt from the article.
Using Jesus' name during public prayers is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 2006 case involved a city councilman in Fredericksburg, Va., who had frequently used the name of Jesus during prayer to open meetings.

The three-judge panel for the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Wednesday that "the practice of members of Town Council invoking name(s) specifically associated with the Christian faith violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment."


Here in Selma, we had the ACLU threaten a lawsuit for the same thing and the town council backed down. Finally, the mayor decided to continue prayer in Jesus' name. I personally offered to help pay for a legal defense should the town get sued. Some things are worth fighting for. This is a matter of principle, not just of Christian principle, but of proper application of the law and the Constitution.

Do you want to know what the Founding Fathers thought on this issue? Here is an excellent list of their own words on that subject. Also, a friend of mine with whom I co-host The Patriots Pub has an article on the separation of church and state...and he is an agnostic. Yet, he feels the exact same way I do in regards to original intent and the founding of the nation and the prevailing religious views of the day. If you want an emailed copy, just email me.

Some things are worth fighting over. This is one. It is a matter of freedom, truth, and the foundation of American society.

More asinine apologies for slavery

I dealt with this subject once already for a complete hour. It is just plain asinine to offer apologies for something that happened hundreds of years ago and ended over 140 years ago. The United States Congress acquiesced and offered a formal apology for slavery as the State of North Carolina did over a year ago. Give me a break. NOBODY who was a slave owner is alive today. The lawmakers who passed Jim Crowe laws are long dead.

The concept of slavery was dealt with in the 1860's at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives. What is not often mentioned is that there were a lot of Negro slave owners here in America. In addition to that, it was Negroes who sold other Negroes into slavery. That is a side issue, but still relevant.

Here is the article on the apology. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the article.
US lawmakers Tuesday offered the federal government's first formal apology for the "fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity" of slavery and the legal segregation of African-Americans.

The resolution, passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote, "apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery" formal segregation laws known as "Jim Crow."

Lawmakers also said they were committed to rectifying "the lingering consequences" of slavery and segregation.

Here is how to listen to my talk show episode on the subject when it came up here in North Carolina last year.

Bush signed the bill in secret because it was WRONG to do

I wrote about this earlier. This is just wrong. It is wrong to give open authority to bureaucrats on lending allegedly private mortgage companies money. It is wrong to bail out private citizens because they used bad judgment in getting mortgage loans. We are getting hosed.

Here is the story.
With none of the fanfare that usually attends a landmark bill becoming law, President Bush signed the huge housing rescue bill just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after he arrived in the Oval Office.

Only a few aides and administration officials were present, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steve Preston and James B. Lockhart III, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The White House announced the signing by e-mail moments later.

The bill, the biggest overhaul of housing law in decades, provides a lifeline for an estimated 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure, and provides assurances to the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose books are loaded with bad mortgages.

This is just wrong. Charged for protecting your property?

When your dog is being attacked by another dog, one should have the right to exercise lethal force to protect one's own property and friend. If I am walking my dog or I have my dog in my back yard and a vicious dog attacks either myself or my dog, I am going to use whatever force is necessary to protect my dog. If that means shooting the attacking dog, so be it. In protecting my own dog by shooting the attacker, there is no way under all fairness and common sense that I should be charged with animal cruelty. Allowing the attack on my dog would be animal cruelty, not defending my canine companion and property. This would be a JUSTIFIED use of a firearm in the judgment of any rational, fair minded individual.

The following news story was on WTSB's news page today. It is just wrong to charge this man with discharging a firearm in the city limits (which is a BS ordinance to begin with) and animal cruelty. This is NOT justice. It is just plain wrong.
Owner, Neighbor Charged Following Dog's Death
Two Selma neighbors are in trouble with authorities following the shooting death of a canine. It happened Monday night on Godwin Street. Selma Police reported William Lynn Godwin, 32, shot and killed his neighbor’s dog, reportedly while trying to defend his own animal. Godwin was charged with cruelty to animals and discharging a firearm within town limits. The dog’s owner, Kevin Campbell, was cited for violating a town ordinance of allowing his dog to run at large.

I agree with Obama on this one, too.

According to Yahoo news:
Barack Obama told House Democrats on Tuesday that as president he would order his attorney general to scour White House executive orders and expunge any that "trample on liberty," several lawmakers said.

Presidents, as head of the executive branch of government, issue such orders to direct operations of executive branch agencies, like the Justice Department and the CIA.
I have said for years that I was wanting a President to go through all the executive orders issued by previous administrations and get rid of the ones that I disagreed with or wanted to change. Actually, to be more accurate, I feel that every last executive order should be nullified upon the leaving of the previous administration. There is no way feasible that the executive branch should be held to the standards laid down by a President from 30 years ago. Why should choices made by Jimmy Carter dictate how George W. Bush runs his administration? If an executive officer made the order, and executive officer can rescind the order.

I have no problem with the chief executive officer making administration policy. I do have a problem with using executive orders in place of law. For instance, Bush's order on bass fishing regulation (cited in the article) is not something a POTUS should be deciding. Whether the CIA is allowed to perform certain sorts of operations, however, is within the jurisdiction of the head of the executive branch.

Of course I expect someone like Obama to only keep liberally bending orders in place, but he does have the concept of eliminating those orders that do not coincide with his goals and purposes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Louisiana had it right, SCOTUS had it wrong, NC getting there

I served on a jury for a trial of a prisoner accused of beating a chomo. Chomos are scum. He got what he deserved, in my opinion, but the assault was also illegal and we had to judge the case as such.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States recently struck down a Louisiana law that allows capital punishment for people convicted of raping children. First of all, capital punishment is neither cruel nor unusual, but that was the court's ruling as it is applied to rape cases. They said that the punishment was unfit for the crime. Personally, I find it entirely appropriate.

Here in North Carolina, the governor just signed a bill into law making child rape and molestation offenses carry stiffer punishment. Personally, I think like Louisiana did and believe in the swift, efficient use of the death penalty for chomos. I wish we could do so.

From the WTSB news page:
Governor Signs Jessica Lunsford Act Into Law
On Monday, Gov. Mike Easley signed into law The Jessica Lunsford Act. The law means sexual predators convicted in North Carolina will face stiffer punishment for rape or sexual offenses against children. In certain criminal offenses the minimum sentence will be 25 years in prison followed by lifetime satellite-based monitoring, or the possibility of life imprisonment without parole. The law also increases the criminal penalties for sexual exploitation of a minor and promoting prostitution of a minor, and makes the sex offender registration requirements more stringent. The Act creates a new criminal offense making it unlawful for a sex offender to be on certain premises such as schools, playgrounds and child care centers. Sex offender registries must now be checked, by local school districts, of all school contractual personnel before allowing them to have direct interaction with students. "Today we send a message that North Carolina will protect our children from vicious predators," Easley said. "We will make sure they spend more time in prison and we will track them 24-7 to make sure they never abuse children again." Easley signed the bill in Gaston County, where Jessica Lunsford, the 9-year-old for whom the bill is named, was born and lived until she moved to Florida in 2004. In February 2005 she was raped and murdered by a sex offender. The offender, John Couey, was convicted of her murder and has been sentenced to death. Police had lost track of Couey, who was staying with his sister in the same neighborhood as Jessica. Appearing with the governor at the bill signing was Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica, who has lobbied legislatures around the nation, including North Carolina, for tougher child predator laws. The bill passed the House by a vote of 109-1, and the Senate by a vote of 46-0. The new law goes into effect December 1.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mortgage bail out bothers me as a matter of fairness as well as legality

I have written about this before and I probably will again. I am tremendously bothered by the idea that the federal government is about to bail out mortgage lenders and mortgage payers. I busted my tail to get good enough credit and income to be able to have a house. I did not buy more house than I could afford. I settled for a house that was within my desired price range and within the quality, size, and comfort levels I desired. Overall, I have been happy with that decision and I have never failed to be able to pay my mortgage as a result. As with any older home, there are things I have needed to dump money into for repairs and improvements. I would obviously prefer not to have to pay the money for such, but that is part of home ownership.

Neal Boortz wrote about this very concept this morning on his news page. It echoes my sentiments.
ANOTHER GUMMIT BAILOUT

This one could cost $25 billion, but what the hell. Actually ... that's a minimum estimate. Some analysts think the mortgage bail-out that Bush is oh-so-eagerly going to sign this week could cost $300 billion. The politicians who curry favor and buy votes with this money don't have to worry about where the money comes from. They're going to be long-gone when the bill comes due. They only have to worry about doing what they need to do to buy votes so they can enjoy the prestige and privileges of power until that time.

Who are these people who are going to be bailed out?

* People who knew they were buying more house than they could afford, and who thought that they would be bailed out by rising equity.
* People who got home loans in spite of bad credit ratings ... loans spurred by media and government anguish over the unavailability of home loans to bad credit risks.
* People who bought the house, took out the loan, and moved on in knowing full well that they wouldn't be able to make the payments when the interest rates went up. But what the hell .. they would just ride the cheap rates until then, and throw in the keys.

Yes...I know that there were some bad actors in the mortgage business. There are bad actors in every business. Me, for instance. But I can remember a dozen or so years ago when almost every major newspaper in the country was running investigative reports on the evils of the mortgage business. These reports told us that these evil mortgage companies were not doing enough to bring the American dream of home ownership to poorer people. The nasty mortgage lenders were actually using criteria such as income, job stability, credit ratings, loan-to-value ratio and other anti-inclusive measurements to intentionally keep minorities, single women and other poor, poor pitiful victims out of the home market. So --- before the feds stepped in and made them do it – the evil mortgage lenders started lending to people that should be renting. And here we are.

Remember...over 95% of the people in this country with home loans are making those payments each and every month. So what kind of crisis is this really? Can't it be said we're weeding out the chaff here?
It is NOT the job of the taxpayers of this nation to bail out those who have taken bad financial decisions in life. It is not my fault that others have taken loans they can not repay. It is not my fault that some people were stupid enough to take variable interest rate loans and are now paying the price for that stupidity. It is not my fault that people got mortgages that they had no intention of being able to repay over the long haul. It is not my fault or the fault of the rest of the tax payers who are or have been faithful in paying for our homes. Not only that, I do not recall any provision in the Constitution that would allow Congress or the President to spend taxpayer money on any such thing.

This is just another boondoggle in which we are getting screwed by our elected officials so that they can look like the knight in shining armor that came to the defense of the average citizen. No, they are the thieves who took from the average citizen and gave the collective wealth to corporations that should never have undertaken such bad business decisions and to other citizens who should never have been allowed to get such risky loans to begin with. Were it not for threats of government action to begin with, the mortgage companies probably would never have underwritten such loans.

We have the largest budget in world history. We have an unfathomable amount of national debt. We have spending on special interest projects that do not benefit the public good. We waste more money than some nations have as a GDP. We have confiscatory taxation levels that would cause a tea party and disgust the Founding Fathers. Quite frankly, I am sick of it all. Unfortunately, I see no end in sight. The world's system is corrupting our government and bankrupting our nation.

Here is a news article on the pending bail out. Bend over, grab ankles.
The measure, regarded as the most significant housing legislation in decades, lets homeowners who cannot afford their payments refinance into more affordable government-backed loans rather than losing their homes.

It offers a temporary financial lifeline to troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- pillars of the home loan market whose losses have sparked investor fears -- and tightens controls over the two government-sponsored businesses.
Furthermore, the article states:
The legislation overhauls the Depression-era FHA. It requires lenders to show how high a borrower's payment could get under the terms of his mortgage. It provides $180 million in pre-foreclosure counseling for struggling homeowners.

The Treasury Department gains unlimited power, until the end of 2009, to lend money to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or buy their stock should they need it. The Federal Reserve takes on a new "consultative" role overseeing the companies.

The measure includes $15 billion in tax cuts, including a significant expansion of the low-income housing tax credit and a credit of up to $7,500 for first-time home buyers for houses purchased between April 9, 2008, and July 1, 2009.
This is just unfair to others who have been faithful in their mortgage payments and the tax payers who have to foot the bill. This sucks royally.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Women DESERVE pro-choice.

No, I have not lost my marbles. I refer to this.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I am not fond of a church 501(c)(3) status. The money changers love it.

I realize that the government is supposed to be a servant of the Lord. The Church is supposed to be the of the Lord, as well. There are issues I see with churches having a tax exempt status. There has been a lot of abuse with that status in the name of freedom of religion. There are tax breaks for ministers that most people do not get. I had some web sites bookmarked for years. One of them dealt with churches and 501(c)(3) status. Unfortunately, that URL no longer is valid, or I would link you there.

There are a lot of churches who do finances correctly. They are prudent with their money and respect how it is spent. Other ministries become the personal wealth machine of hucksters. That is one major reason why I left the Word of Faith Movement (WOF) in the mid 1990's. I have no problem with apostolic authority, but I do have a problem with stacking the deck of a ministry's board of directors with family and/or "yes men". It is the unfortunate consequence of tax exempt status that a not for profit corporation has to have a board. I have seen some churches with only family on the board.

It is sad to see that people make money off the fears of others. WOF preachers scare parishioners into tithing and giving to "the man of God" so that they will themselves be blessed. Of course those tithes and offerings can go to no other ministers much less fellow believers or God will be angry at them and curse them. I sat through a lot of sermons to that end, as well as read plenty of books teaching those heresies. Yes, I believe that God honors your giving and blesses you for it. I do not, however, believe that people are going to be cursed by God if they do not give 10% of their income to their local congregation. I live under a new covenant, established upon better promises. Nonetheless, these WOF preachers will pull all sorts of cursings out of the Old Testament to back their claims. The most popular is the old Malachi 3:10. However, you never hear those preachers share the intended recipients of the message. I am not a Jew, I never was a Jew, and never was under the Law.

The sad truth is that people who often can not pay their own bills ignorantly pour money into the pockets of such charlatans, believing that God will honor their faithfulness and owes them more money in return, as if there is a formula or equation in Heaven to follow. I have seen poor people give money when they could not afford groceries of to pay the electricity bill with the expectation that God will bless them mightily. Years later, they are still poor. Do not get me wrong. I do believe that God does honor giving. He is not obligated, however, to honor a covenant that is not yours to begin with or giving in fear of his wrath.

Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Jesse Duplantis, Jerry Savelle, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Marilyn Hickey, Oral Roberts, Frederick Price, John Avanzini, Morris Cerullo, E.W. Kenyon, and a host of others preach the "name it and claim it" gospel; the "blab it and grab it" theology, or the health and wealth gospel. Pick your term, I don't care. You see many of these same people and their ilk on television regularly. I have personally met some of them, been in their services, read their books, etc. Had I compromised, I would probably be a millionaire raking in millions of dollars every year and have a world wide TV ministry. God would not let me do so, and for that I am grateful. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and your mercy.

Side note: I am reminded of a joke.
A Christian Scientist and a WOF preacher both died and ended up in Hell. They both looked around at their surroundings and figured out their location. The Christian Scientist started confessing, "There is no such thing as Hell. There is no such thing as Hell. There is no such thing as Hell." The WOF preacher started confessing, "I'm in Heaven. I'm in Heaven. I'm in Heaven."
Those who understand the theologies involved will enjoy that one.

For some time now, the US Congress, having solved all other major issues in the country, have decided to start auditing and questioning televangelists and their ministry finances. I realize as well as anyone that there is a serious First Amendment consideration here. However, keep in mind that we are talking about a 501(c)(3) corporation here, not just a ministry. There is supposed to be some degree of accountability. Rest assured that if there is no accountability now, there will be in the future, and that will be to the supreme judge.

I believe it to be wrong that the IRS can threaten to take away the tax exempt status for a preacher that makes political statements in the pulpit. There is a righteous standard that a minister is supposed to uphold. Those standards transcends into politics. If the government is ordained of God, then we have a responsibility to ensure that the proper ethics are employed in selecting leaders who will exemplify God's character and nature. Not only that, but there is an abridgment of First Amendment freedom of speech when preachers are disallowed to preach righteousness to their congregations and encourage them to vote according to their ethics that are based upon their faith.

When people abuse their authority, then they must face the minister of God, as enumerated in Romans 13. When a church or para-church organization abrogates their responsibilities and fails to pay their employees, they have legal issues, not just church issues. When a charter is handed out by the state, the state can regulate and hold you accountable. For instance, a pastor I know was purchasing a radio station and failed to live up to his end of the purchase agreement. He owed several employees, myself included, thousands of dollars in back wages. One man was owed ten fold of what I was owed. That pastor insisted that nobody could sue him. Well, it is not exactly easy to go before a church when he runs that church body. I sued a corporation. Had that same pastor not committed perjury by lying his butt off in court about his involvement and stake in the operations of that radio station, he would have lost that lawsuit. He had to resort to dishonesty to win. That is sad. Here some of us employees had to move out of our housing because we were not getting paid, some had not even enough gas money to show up for work or get home, and others ran up debt to help keep the radio station going. Promises were made but not kept, and we all suffered. Sin affects other people.

I weep for my brethren who are still mired in WOF theology. There were people that I loved dearly that were and may still be stuck in the preaching of manna and false hope for healing. I believe in healing. I have personally laid hands on the sick and injured and watched them be healed before my very eyes. The problem with WOF teaching is that they proclaim that if you are not healed, it is their own fault for not having sufficient faith to be healed. What a crock of BS. If someone calls for an elder of the church and asks for prayer and laying on of hands to be healed, then according to James chapter 5, the prayer of faith is the burden of the elder, not the one who is sick. That is the great heresy. Blaming someone else for your inaccurate theology to the detriment and possible destruction of the afflicted just pisses me off royally.

I have seen this many times. One such instance stands out in my mind in that a church held a healing service. There were ads on the radio asking for anyone who is sick to attend this special anointed healing service. I should know, I made the ads. After a message delivered about having faith to be healed, one person came up in a wheelchair asking for God's healing touch. After struggling to her feet and the pastor laying hands on the woman, she was none the better. The pastor actually chided the woman for not having sufficient faith to be healed. As I recall, he told her to go study about having faith sufficient for her healing. I was disgusted, but I could not vent my frustrations at the time.

That same pastor taught more than once that if you did not tithe, that you were a "God robber" according to Malachi 3:10 and that as a thief, you would go to Hell. Funny, that same verse talks about extortioners. Obtaining money from people under a false or even real threat of punishment or retribution is extorting from people.
Main Entry: ex·tort
: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power : wring; also
: to gain especially by ingenuity or compelling argument
It is not hard for me to equate WOF teachers with the money changers in the temple during Jesus' time. They twisted the law, extorted money, and made profit from the people of God. It is ironic that Jesus said, "make not my Father's house an house of merchandise" and yet when you go to many churches, there are book stores, tapes, CDs, videos, and books for sale of the preacher, singing group, or guest evangelist for sale. I have seen one particular preacher hock his books for some fifteen or twenty minutes. I have been in services where a so called prophet claimed to have a word from God as to how much money people should give that night. Another night, the special word from God was to take out your largest denomination bill and give it in the offering and you would get a 1000 fold increase by the end of the week. Another night he said that the Lord showed him that someone in the audience was keeping a $100 bill tucked away in his wallet in case a special need or occasion came up and that God instructed for him to give it in the offering. I saw this guy several times and it was amazing that in two totally different services in two different locations, God amazingly gave the exact same words of knowledge about money squirreled away in wallets and giving the largest size bill. Because I did not tolerate that crap or want any part of it, I was removed as a deacon in one church.

Not surprisingly, those who deal loosely with the truth or are downright deceived about the truth about money have a real motivation to keep these things private. Jim Bakker can attest to that. Somewhere here at the house, I have a recording of his first message after he got out of prison. I have his book, I Was Wrong on my book shelf. One by one, dirty ministers are being exposed. I wrote about one earlier this week.

Kenneth Copeland is refusing to let Congress see his ministry finances, hiding behind the First Amendment. He has some validity to his claim there, however I firmly believe that if the government is the one chartering a non-profit organization then they have the right to inspect to ensure that it is indeed non-profit. There is more than accountability to God, there is accountability in this world. Since Copeland elected to use the world's system to obtain tax exemption, he is bound to be accountable to that same system. Hiding behind the pretense of ministry and freedom of religion is might shady and casts a dubious light upon him, not that there was not one already.

The Bible has a stern warning about people who teach about greed and wealth. They usually covet it themselves. Convincing others that they will be wealthy by giving to your own ministry is self serving and as I pointed out earlier, extortion.

Here is one parting thought about those who extort money from the flock. I call it fleecing the sheep.
1Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.