Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Put a Cap on California's Cap and Trade

California's AB-32, Cap and Trade, signed into law in 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cap and Trade is a job-killer and unemployment-creator which stinks to high heaven. The suspect "greenhouse" gases -- CO2, H2O, methane -- subject to "cap and trade" are common occurring gases which we drink, breathe, and fart.

Yet the state of California has entrusted the California Air Resources Board to managed the presence and proliferation of these graces through the sale of carbon credits, a massive tax which benefits a third-party commodity distributor while hammering businesses and farms which are already hemorrhaging under this bad economy.

When will voters -- white, black and all for the cause of the green -- accept that the government is the last institution which should be entrusted to taking care of the Commons? The environment has fared so well for so long, and technical innovations do far more to end the poison of pollution in our air and water. The environment is a precious resource indeed, but the government's intervention into our lives, into our green, is diminished the pride and protection of the red, white, blue, our right to be left alone and left to our devices to make the most of our place in the commons.

Pollution indeed is a travesty, a harm which no one should endure in our society. Yet Cap and Trade will protect our air and water by driving out every business. There will be no pollution, but there will be no people, either.

Cap and Trade is not the way to go.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sentiment in Santa Monica Waning for Waxman

In the past month, the Congressman has paid a visit to the Malibu and the Santa Monica Democratic Clubs, and the second appearance took place just yesterday. Normally such gatherings cost $100 a head, yet the club reduced the entry fee to $35. Waxman is a brand that has gone bland, a politician whose time has come for him to go.
Sentiment in Santa Monica
Waning for Waxman
He declared in open committee that “We’re not broke!”, even though this country is crushed with $16 trillion dollars in debt, plus a multi-trillion dollar entitlement burden with not relief in sight.
Within one thirty-minute interview, he declared that this country is enduring a depression, than he predicted that the “current” recession will resurface. The one confession, the one concession that Mr. Waxman must make is that he does not know the difference between the two economic conditions, and that alone is reason enough to remove him from office.
Obama-WaxmanCare, the Congressman’s signature piece of legislation, is the largest tax increase in history, and contrary to the assured assertions of Waxman and colleagues, health premiums have increased, access has diminished, and a growing number of voters are demanding repeal.

Waxman: Still Blaming Everyone Else
After 38 years of Waxman in office, the residents of the Santa Monica Bay still deal with air pollution, water issues, and traffic jams along Wilshire Boulevard – he blocked funding for a metro link under Wilshire Boulevard for years. For a man who cares about the environment and public health, there is no excuse for prohibiting such an overhaul.

For over thirty years, Waxman has chosen his voters. The anti-incumbent fervor in this country, in this state is demanding competent legislators who understand that voters choose them.
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) has worn out his welcome in Washington. Now he is attempting to win over voters weary of Waxman’s overwhelming arrogance and underwhelming record. It is now incumbent upon every voter in the Santa Monica Bay, from Malibu to Rancho Palos Verdes, to remove the incompetent incumbent Henry Waxman from office.
Vote for Independent Bill Bloomfield for the 33rd!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Students who Lose in School Win in Life

I cannot rail against this disturbing trend enough times -- schools are babying and accommodating students rather than challenging them and teaching them to reach beyond their limits, that the limits which they or their parents or their communities have imposed on them are not at all true.
A secretary at one school told me that she would close the door on student helpers who felt justified waltzing into the office five minutes late. She refused to put up with such insolent behavior, and she would not relent, even in the face of pressure from the counselors. The principal forced the secretary to set up a meeting with the rest of the office staff to resolve the issue.

The secretary did the right thing. She refused to let the students get away with doing less than the best, because the world will look for the best and still expect more if a man wants to succeed in any calling that he chooses to take up.

A teacher must show the student that he has so much more going for him than what someone else says or thinks. Students will never know what they are made if they never fail, if they are never permitted to try to fly, even if they end up falling flat on their face.

It is normal for students to rebel, but it is abusive and abnormal to permit a spirit of rebellion to remain in a child. There is no greater disservice, no greater witchcraft than to permit young people to fight and talk back to their elders.

I remember when I was covering a first grade class in Hermosa Beach. One of the students would contradict or argue with me when I was telling another student what to do.

"It is not OK for you to talk back to an adult. Go change your card and sit in the corner."

Most students are all about testing the limits, and that young boy was not exception. He was a good natured kid, and at the end of the day he was glad that I did not let him get away with anything.

Nothing worse than not letting someone fail -- public schools are doing no one any favors by letting them get away with everything. If there is a tussle between student and teacher, the teacher must win, or in the long run the student will lose!

Students who lose in school will win in life, if we would only look past the initial inconveniences and consider the greater glory that young people can enter.

Manhattan Beach Contracts with Contractors and Consultants

Manhattan Beach Unified is holding out on granting a pay raise to teachers, yet they have granted a pay raise to the superintendent and deputy superintendents.
The school district is contracting with less money and still high demands from the state and the community, yet the district has decided to contracted out retired administrators (who are without a doubt already receiving a generous pension from the state) to “consult” the current administrators on how to do their jobs, as if two people have to do the work of one person.
They have also hired a substitute teacher as an “Energy Consultant” to cut future costs by saving the environment.
The Beach Reporter shared these developments in the Manhattan Beach Round-up, a small article tucked near the back of the newspaper.

I cannot believe that these developments receive such limited space in the local press.

The Beach Cities School Districts are so determined to save “Green”(as in the environment), that they are willing to waste “Green” (as in money) to fund abortive projects that have nothing to do with educating our youth our using our tax dollars in the best ways possible.

Is embattled incumbent Congressman Henry Waxman, who loves the environment to our hurt and the economy’s peril, pulling strings behind the scenes in our district schools? It seems that school boards have “Solyndra” on the brain, yet they have ignored the “inconvenient truth” that public monies to save the trees help an elite few and harm students and voters.

When will Beach City voters get “Red” with rage over all this “Green” getting wasted?

To the Administrators of the Several High Schools

Despite the warring concerns which many principals have, that the students will not receive an adequate education if they are sent out of class for several reasons, teachers need to know and believe that they are supported.

In two instances, nay four, I can recall the surge of relief that I received when I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was supported by the administrative staff.

For one thing, by letting the teacher know that he or she will win if there is a conflict, you ensure a greater degree of respect and safety not just for the teacher, but also for the rest of the class. Deep down, most students want a teacher who will expect them to learn and expect respect from everyone.

The Director of Pupil Services -- the administrator who expels the really bad students -- had told me and the other substitute teachers that we must do the best that we can to avoid conflict of any kind. "If there has to be a show-down, the teacher has to win and the student has to lose, and that means that we all lose."

I could not disagree more with such a fatuous observation. Students need to lose once in a while. They need to learn that the world is not going to fall apart if they fail, if they lose face in front of their peers. The notion that teachers and schools must go out of their way to protect the fragile egos of young people is the very efforts which is stunting these young people from making it in the world.

At Los Padrinos, the assistant principal told me plainly, in front of all the students, that she supported me 100%! When a probation staff member had confronted and shamed me in front of the other students, I learned the hard way -- and for the last time -- that I must never permit a staff member to dishonor me in front of students ever again.

The assistant principal at Los Padrinos was the best administrator whom I ever worked with. Her support for me was legendary, in large part because most APs and principals seek to protect themselves at the expense of everyone else, especially substitutes who are "here today, easily to dispose of tomorrow."

I cannot stress enough the importance of teacher support from administrators. A leader at a school site must go out of his or her way to make things work out for the teacher and the students. If a principal cannot do the most to make things all for the best for the teacher, then that person must go back to the classroom, and not look back.

"I Have a Line of Parents at My Door"

The principal was steamed, tossed and turning without any respite.

If there was any school which gave no rest whatsoever to the teachers, it was at South East High School in South Gate, where students were expected to learn an  entire year’s worth of content in a semester. Even though we met with the students for an hour and a half every day.

No one in their right mind would be able to get through a textbook in an entire traditional year. But the 4 X 4 block assured that no one really learned anything.

I was under so much stress in those days, too – I would try my best to calm down, but that would only make me angrier, more tense, more afraid. I cannot believe that I made it through as well as I did, yet even then I was not requested to come back, that’s for sure.

I labored under such condemnation in those days, instead of resting in the truth that I was accepted in God’s eyes, even when I failed.

Then again, schools do not communicate a real compassion for teachers who fail or fall short of the glorious ideal. The administrators will say nice things to you for a short while, but the burden on teachers is immense, and only getting worse, with standardized tests that can now zero in on the teacher and the subject which fall short of the mark.

Teachers are expected to micromanage so much – yet even the parents do not do enough. How am I supposed to keep up with the monumental mess? A teacher cannot be everything for every student, and there is no way to escape this inconvenient truth.

I am grateful for all that I have suffered in this life, and for all the victories which I have enjoyed, as well. I could not accept myself as I was, since I had so high a standard for myself, and I am sure that the students whom I worked with felt the same brunt on them.

But the end was finally near for me. The more that I tried to be a good teacher, the worse that the whole thing became. I was very nervous, confronting two very intelligent and manipulative honors students who knew how to blame the teacher, game the administrator, and defame anyone who gave them a hard time. 

The parents were abusive in this one case. I cannot believe that I was expected to put up with such folly. Still, at that point in my life, I was spending more time just trying to do a good job, not get anyone mad, do the best that I can. The pressure was beyond incredible. No one in credential school had ever told me that schools were the site of conflicting demands, curriculum expectations, flustered leadership that would spend more time looking over its own shoulders instead of administering instruction in the best interests of the students.

The last parent conference that I had to take on -- Mom and Dad with the daughter who could cry at the drop of a hat -- and the assistant principal who did not know what was going on. She was trying to make sense of the insanity that had come to define the whole program that I was slogging through.  As a French teacher, I was trying to bring students up to speed through every chapter, but I had no time to make sure that students had acquired and understood what they have learned. The 4 x 4 block left no room, no time for me to reteach, to reinstruct, to recreate students so that I could be sure that they understood what I had taught them. A horrible situation for a language teacher like myself.

So, I faced off with the two boorish parents, and their obnoxious daughter crying away, then putting on a straight face, claiming that I was a Nazi, a fascist, or another empty racial epithet. The parents were fuming about discrimination, too. The assistant principal, who has moved from her office in charge of human resources to the counselor's office to replace the other assistant principal who had quit, had barely gotten settled, and already she was trying to keep up with this mess.

After one abusive comment after another, I had had enough of that crappy parent conference. I stormed out, refusing to spend one mire minute getting eaten alive.

Another parent came in the room with her son. He and the other student, the Ms. Cry-on-the-Spot, had planned a perverse final project about a students who comes out of the closet. I had offered the students the opportunity to create their own skit using their French vocabulary, but I was appalled to find myself having to dispute with students who wanted to use a fun final project to make political points about a volatile issue that had nothing to do with French. Such subject matter as a person revealing personal behavior has no place in a classroom, and I had refused to permit students to put forward so inappropriate a topic. The whole thing was an offense to me, that students would scream civil rights violations over a project. I look back on the whole affair, and I am disgusted that I had believed that I had to put up with such stupidity.

The mother in the second conference went on and on about how she had to work  during the day and that she did not have time to attend parent conferences. I reminded her and the assistant principal trying to make sense of the whole mess that I was not the one who had planned these confrontations. I made the most of the time that I was there. The student, Mr. Come-Out, had letters from other students that he did not mean anything inappropriate by what he had meant to do.

"I think this thing is a big misunderstanding, and Mr. S. thinks that we are out to get him."

The suspicion which he raised was spot-on, actually. They felt entitled to press me about issues as to what was appropriate and what had no place in a classroom. I was astounded at the lack of respect that I was enduring. The assistant principal was helpless, too, and had no idea what to do -- she was in over her head, to say the least.

The mother and Mr. Come-Out left the room, then the principal rushed into the room. After firmly shaking my hand, he asked me "How are you today, Mr. S?"

I told him that I was OK, bearing in mind that two excessive and unacceptable parent conferences had just taken place, but then he just erupted.

Slamming a book on the table,  he shouted, "Well, I am not!" He then continued to yell at me:

"I have a line of parents at my door complaining about you! You have quiet a reputation on this campus! I hear stories about how you treat the students. . ."

I do not minimize this one truth -- I was extremely strict and overwhelmed, pushing students to the brink. I felt pressured, and I know that the students felt the pressure in turn. It was just awful for them, I am sure. So insecure was I, so pressed to impress that I was in charge. I look back on those days and cringe, I cannot believe how shaky and shaken I was. Whatever I had learned as a student teacher, I could not shake the fear demons, I found myself completely unable to overcome the upset and anxiety which had so gripped me. At that point, I had fallen into the internal infernal maelstrom of trying to calm down, and of course that only makes you more nervous.

The principal lambasted me for the next five minutes about how he had tried to make the most of the dwindling enrollment in my classes, how he had tried to adjust to issues that he thought had nothing to do with me. Yet the facts were indisputable: I was really mean, and really green, and I was about to leave the scene.

"Mr. S., do you look forward to waking up in the morning?"

I barely mentioned yes, still trembling over the tongue-lashing which I had endured.

"Well, you better think long and hard about it, because tomorrow you will be meeting with me, and your union rep will be there." Then he stormed out.

I could not believe what was happening. I had tried so hard to do the best job that I could, and it all fell flat. I was thoroughly excoriated by the principal for some things that I had done, but also for other things which I did not do -- like assigning detentions or taking away students' senior activities.

I stumbled out of the counselor's office, shaken to the core, with no idea as to what I was going to do. It certainly looked as if my time at the school was about to be over. I recalled the comeuppance I had endured after my first attempt at student teaching. The show-down which I had just survived reminded me of what I had faced two years before. In fact, that is exactly what went through my mind as the principal was bearing down on me for all the stress that he had been going through, taking on the full assignment, missing one assistant principal on maternity leave while another principal had quit after the third quarter. He was short-staffed, short-sighted, and short of breath, and I understand now why he was so short with me then, not that such angry behavior was ever justified.

I had so much growing up to do in those days, and the people who were supposed to help me did anything but. I could not believe how incompetent and uninformed the "mentors" in my life had been in those days. I could not believe that I had moved along with such insanity in those days. I was so desperate for security and direction in those days. I was so afraid to fail, I had been told so many times that I would never amount to anything, that I was a loser.

But the lie was that I was not a loser, but a man trying to win a game that no one can ever win. I was trying to make it in a public school where the well-being of the students is not the priority, where the tyranny of test scores has replaced the learning and the bearing of the students, young men and women who are looking for something more for their lives.

Those students needed parents, and at that point in my life, I was still a lost child looking for a real parent to rear me. I was waiting for a parent at the door who would take care of me.

Reflections on "My Utmost": July 27

The Way to Knowledge

I have to comment on this title -- Jesus is the Way (John 14: 6), and the knowledge that we receive, we receive through the Holy Spirit living in us (1 John2: 20, 27)

The golden rule to follow to obtain spiritual understanding is not one of intellectual pursuit, but one of obedience. If a person wants scientific knowledge, then intellectual curiosity must be his guide. But if he desires knowledge and insight into the teachings of Jesus Christ, he can only obtain it through obedience.

No, Oswald. Right believing leads to right living, and nothing can replace the heart change that overtakes a man who believes on Him whom the Father has sent (John 6: 29)

 If spiritual things seem dark and hidden to me, then I can be sure that there is a point of disobedience somewhere in my life. Intellectual darkness is the result of ignorance, but spiritual darkness is the result of something that I do not intend to obey.

"Intellectual darkness, spiritual darkness" all of these terms and dichotomies create confusion, not clarity. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8: 12), and as we walk in Him, there is no occasion of stumbling.

No one ever receives a word from God without instantly being put to the test regarding it. We disobey and then wonder why we are not growing spiritually.

The problem is not growing spiritually, but rather gaining more awareness of God's grace working in our lives through our growing knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3: 18)

 Jesus said, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

This passage was preached while Jesus was still under law in the Sermon on the Mouth, where Jesus brought the Mosaic law back to its proper unassailable and unmanageable height. Man can never reconcile himself to God through atonement with others, for the sin that afflicts us is deeper than behavior, but defines and permeates our very being.

 He is saying, in essence, “Don’t say another word to me; first be obedient by making things right.”

What folly! We have one Savior, one mediator, and by His once and for all sacrifice, we can boldly enter the throne of grace! (Hebrews 4: 16)

The teachings of Jesus hit us where we live. We cannot stand as impostors before Him for even one second. He instructs us down to the very last detail. The Spirit of God uncovers our spirit of self-vindication and makes us sensitive to things that we have never even thought of before.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness, not sin (John 16: 9). If we are trying to vindicate ourselves, then we need to rest in the truth that we have already been fully vindicated, having been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

When Jesus drives something home to you through His Word, don’t try to evade it.

When we read the Scriptures, we behold Jesus (Luke 24: 27)

If you do, you will become a religious impostor. Examine the things you tend simply to shrug your shoulders about, and where you have refused to be obedient, and you will know why you are not growing spiritually. As Jesus said, “First . . . go . . ..” Even at the risk of being thought of as fanatical, you must obey what God tells you.

I cannot believe that Oswald Chambers is still esteemed so greatly in Christian circles. On many issues he demonstrates a disturbing distortion of the righteousness that has been imparted to every believer. His works puts too much emphasis on what the believer must do instead of the rest which every believer receives by believing on what Jesus has done!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reflections on "My Utmost": July 26

Initially we trust in our ignorance, calling it innocence, and next we trust our innocence, calling it purity. Then when we hear these strong statements from our Lord, we shrink back, saying, “But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.”

Once again, Chambers fails to rightly divide the Word of God. We have now received a new heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

We resent what He reveals.

If we are a new creation in Christ, then all things are made new in us (2 Corinthians 5: 17), then we have nothing to fear within us, but rather we are exhorted to ask God to open our inner eyes to the wonderful gifts which God has given us (Ephesians 1: 17-19).

Either Jesus Christ is the supreme authority on the human heart, or He is not worth paying any attentiyon to.

Paul also prayed that Christ would dwell in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3: 16-17). He is already there, but we need to renew our minds to the truth of Who is in us (Colossiasn 1: 27).

 Am I prepared to trust the penetration of His Word into my heart, or would I prefer to trust my own “innocent ignorance”?

This discussion about innocent ignorance is moot once we have been convicted of our sin nature and have received the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21).

 If I will take an honest look at myself, becoming fully aware of my so-called innocence and putting it to the test, I am very likely to have a rude awakening that what Jesus Christ said is true, and I will be appalled at the possibilities of the evil and the wrong within me.

The evil that still permeates our flesh is present, but no longer has power over us:

"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6: 11)

But as long as I remain under the false security of my own “innocence,” I am living in a fool’s paradise. If I have never been an openly rude and abusive person, the only reason is my own cowardice coupled with the sense of protection I receive from living a civilized life. But when I am open and completely exposed before God, I find that Jesus Christ is right in His diagnosis of me.

Christ Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, has dispensed with sin once and for all. We are called not to look at ourselves, but rather to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3: 18)

The only thing that truly provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart.

Where does anyone get the idea that we can "hand ourselves over to Him"? A man dead in his tresspasses can do nothing but receive His redemption and life by faith.

 Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally. But when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.

Right on, Oswald. This statement is exactly the full fruition of the Gospel!

Silva's Take on Aurora

Unlike the silver screen, where the superman is the silver bullet to redeem a fallen world from a fallen enemy, men and women in the three-dimensional world have to make do with what they have and are.

The massacre of Aurora Colorado is a tragedy in a tragic world, where men and women must accept that man at his core has demons and demands that left to themselves destroy and seek to dominate.

The best resolution, however, is not to make it harder for the law-abiding to defend themselves, nor should we permit government and state forced to decide who can defend himself and how.

“The audience in Aurora at first confused reel-to-reel violence with the real kind.”

It was never the audience’s fault what happened at the movie theater.

Cinematic violence does not make man violent, nor do guns kill people of their own free will.

The solution to gun violence is not fewer guns, for the real problem is not the hand or the handgun, but the heart of man of itself.

Redondo Beach Floats a Green Bond

The Redondo Beach School Board wants to float a bond in order to fund technology upgrades and solar panels, the same district leadership that is begging (or threatening) residents to  support  Governor Brown’s tax hikes or the district will have to close the schools down for seventeen days.
With this kind of district leadership, perhaps its about time that voters start recalling the school board members. The district has failed to budget properly for the schools, with drastic cuts planned to take immediate effect next year if the voters do not pass another tax hike on wealth creators in the state.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Apple Valley has proposed that city leaders start laying off current city employees and contract out public services to experience retirees who will volunteer their time and effort. The cities in the state of California cannot afford to pay retired workers the same salary for not working, then take money from current workers who are trying to make the most with less and less.
When voters reconsider giving money until school boards preparing and implement a plan to cut costs, spending, and overruns in bureaucracy, then our schools will do more, our students will learn more, and everyone else will have more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spain Spinning into a Fiscal Free-Fall

Bailouts for Greece, bailouts for Italy, and now Spain may sniping at the Eurozone trough.

Except that the stronger EU members -- Germany at the helm - have no political moxie or financial store left for Madrid.

Buying up toxic debt was a poisonous idea to begin with.

The Euronzone wanted to establish a common currency, yet a common currency requires a common set of current economic regulations, which every member state would adhere to or be punished in turn.

Yet the culture of lay around, lay about, and lay to get pay which languishes at length in Greece and the other Mediterranean states warred against a healthy work and wealth ethic prominent in the Northern countries.

Easy pensions, tax evasion pervasive to the last, and a declining birth rate signalled that the culture of work and will had declined precipitously, and would never have fit within the more diligent market demands of a common currency supported by fiscal solvency, transparency, and integrity.

Spain cannot hope of a bailout, or the members states cannot hold onto their unique, howbeit dysfunctional, political autonomy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feinstein Calls Out the White House for the Leaks


Diana Feinstein commands enough respect to put the welfare of this nation's national security ahead of partisan politics.

Or perhaps Senate Feinstein is distancing herself as much as possible from the embattled incumbent, an executive whose policies are bankrupting this country while leaving us open to more attacks.

Someone in the White House is responsible for the national security leaks, according to the Golden State's senior senator. She  has not indicted the President directly, but she is holding him accountable for not taking proper steps to staunch these blatant attempts to shore up support for his foreign policy credentials, the one point where President  Obama still commands some respect compared to Governor Romney.

Voters in California should heed this woman as she slowly slides away from the sinking president, the leader of the party who seems callous and cool about the Democratic brand's much lower stock among Americans these days!

Another Thought About the Penn State Perversion

There have been too many perversions that have gone unpunished at Penn State, or punished too little too late.

The former assistant coach engaged in unchecked child abuse, often many times with one victim. The head coach of the program refused to report the matter to the city authorities. Trustees and administrative leaders also swept the allegations under the rug. To the leadership and head coaches involved in the up-keep of this multi-million dollar program, sacrificing the well-being of young children was worth the price of keeping a lid on the rampant perversion by one of its staff members.

Following an extensive investigation by a former FBI official, Louis Freeh, the NCAA has hit back, hitting all the way to vacating fourteen years of football victories, shutting the Nittany Lions of out of four years of Bowl games, and even levying a $60 million fine.

It is a perversion of justice to judge those who had nothing to do with the perversions unjudged. The young men and women who played and supported the game do not deserve to be punished for the wicked choices of a select few.

Another, more subtle yet pervasive culprit in this whole moral massacre, however, has remained unconsidered.

Penn State is a government institution, funded by public monies, founded by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth in 1855. The state of Pennsylvania administers the school through the state legislature, and the state has lent its authority and prestige with its name.

The collusion of government and education is evoking the elements of a greater scandal, the reluctant of individuals on the public dole to blow the whistle on egregious misconduct.

By separating the power of the state from higher learning, tuition would increase, but the quality of care and morale would increase, too, as private institutions which depend on drawing consumers instead of drawing upon taxpayers have a vested interests in presenting a commanding integrity.

This line of thinking may be too abstract to some, but private firms risking their own resources do less harm to the community and the state whether they expose wrongdoing or not, and the incentive to end misconduct is far greater, since the market punishes private firms more swiftly with a dissolution of trade and conduct, whereas citizens must seek redress through the state when opposing public institutions.

The Penn State Over- Reaction

"People are thrown under the bus, institutions are thrown under the bus everyday for the bottom line. This is no different," Penn State alum Eric Bernier told ABC News.

Every hard-fought victory earned since 1998 by the Nittany Lions, who were coached by Paterno for a total of 45 years, has now been removed -- just like the statue of Paterno on the university's campus.
 "The wins … we didn't cheat in football, that's unnecessary," Penn State student Alex Gibson said Monday.

The whole affair is one more example of emotional, guilt-induced overkill.

People want to atone for the sins and failures, but nothing that we do after the sins have been committed will ever make up for the wrong that we have done.

Thank God for the Blood of Jesus Christ, whose body bore the punishment for ours sins, by whose stripes we are healed:

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53: 4-5)

"We are healed. . ." this healing has happened, and continues to keep happening.

All our sins are fully punishment, with the restoration soon to follow, if we only believe on Him whom God the Father has sent (John 6: 29)

Punishing the football players who earned those wins does not serve anyone. Joe Paterno and the Penn State leadership failed to protect children and to hold a child abuser accountable. The football players and the other coaching staff played well, and their victories do not dishonor those victimized and unprotected.

In fact, the Penn State administrators are fooling themselves and defrauding justice if they really believe that vacating past wins can make up for what an abused child, let alone ten or more, when through.

A one-year death penalty, a forced Sabbath rest for the university to reorient its priorities -- that was the proper move. . . but to strip previous Nittany Lions of their wins, to sink the work that others had done, this just mocks the justice that was due but never came due.

"And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" (Genesis 18: 23)

Righteousness is a gift (Romans 5: 17), wickedness is a work (Isaiah 57: 1-2; Galatians 5: 19-21).

What is needed is a rest, no more football, for one year -- but do not punish the glories of the past done well to make up for the wickedness done by a few in the past:

"O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?" (Numbers 16: 22)

God poured out His wrath on one Man -- Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5: 9). Anything more is a superfluous insult to the grace of God.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Utah Man's Confession: No One Gets Away with Anything

Patterson wraps up his final words with a somber note on how his cigarette habit deprived him of more years with his family. But it's also clear that he loved life while he was here and was determined to go out with one last laugh. And his wife confirmed to KSL-TV that all of the confessions were true.


Val Patterson supposedly had the last laugh in his obituary, admitting to some unseemly and seemingly unimportant infractions in his life, perhaps indicating after death that he got away with every wrong thing that he did.

No one gets away with anything, no matter how prolonged or startling the last-minute confessions may be.

Honestly, what purpose does it serve for anyone to publish the evil that men do, even in a thumb-nose obituary?

First up, the former engineer admits he never earned the advanced degree from the University of Utah that gained him entrance to his chosen professional career.

If he did his job well, notwithstanding the false pretenses for his having earned the job, then who cares? Perhaps the institutional integrity of the university. And what about all of those individuals who have pressed their time and resources into pursuing advances degrees the old-fashioned, admirable way, by earning them?

I see nothing funny about a man who exposes to the reading public that he fudged his way into a career. One wonders how many sleepless nights this man had. . ."What if someone finds out what I did?" He may have asked himself. I can tell you that men and women who earned advanced degrees through fraudulent institutions had to abandon their careers when the truth came to light, even if they acted with the greatest of integrity from interview to hire to forced resignation.

"I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971." And in a far more comical confession, "Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again."

A petty thief who could not live without someone knowing what petty articles he took. A man who steals from another robs himself of peace and goodwill, for if he does not honor the property of others, then what assurance does he have that others will honor his own?

I admit that I would find it far more hilarious if someone else admits that they perpetrated serious harm against him, without his ever knowing it.

"To Disneyland - you can now throw away that 'Banned for Life' file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore - and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this."

A man who was barred for life from amusement parks must not have had much of life, if his only jollied were harassing park employees or creating enough of a disturbance to merit so sweeping a ban.

His smoking habit, I am sure, robbed Mr. Patterson of far more than he claimed responsibility for. I wonder if the crimes that he perpetrated were a contributing factor to his nasty habit.

Blue Bay State Going Red -- Re-elect Scott Brown

I think a Red realignment is on the rise in the Blue Bay State.

Barney Frank is gone. The state has lost a seat because of depopulation, understandable as residents are looking for a growing economy, and Democratic strongholds are failing to bring their residents out of an anemic recovery.

Richard Tisei is mounting a credible and commanding lead in the north side of Boston, where incumbent Tierney faces a backlash for his unethical connections and locked-up wife.

Moderate Olympia Snowe has endorsed Scott Brown. She was more liberal than some of her Senate colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, and she decided not to run for another term precisely because of the partisan gridlock which has paralyzed Washington. So has Marco Rubio, a Tea Party element who understands balanced budgets and constitutional rule come with compromise.

Scott Brown deserves to carry the senate seat in November. The Obama-Warren brand is a failure, one reeking of unemployment, overregulation, and no real recovery. The empty whimpering of "Wall Street" connections will not stick to Brown nor dissuade voters from sending an open and reliable centrist to office.
As a conservative resident of liberal California, I cannot think of a worse fate for this country than for a dedicated centrist like Scott Brown not returning to Washington for another term.
To the voters of Massachusetts, set your state and the country on the right course: re-elect Scott Brown!

"Never Sit Down" - I Will Not Stand for it.

Michelle Rhee is a paragon in the public education sector.

She took on a very difficult assignment in the poor suburbs of Baltimore. After the first few weeks, she acknowledged that she was going a terrible job. As a Teach for American recruit, she faced stinging opposition from a recruiter, who told her that she did not have what it takes to be a teacher.

Instead of getting discouraged, however, the future Chancellor the D.C. Schools rose to the challenge, throwing in extra time after school and on the weekends to get her kids to learn.

After a few more months, she noticed that her kids were learning, and nothing could stop them. Then came the end of the year, when Rhee ruefully realized that all the hard work and learning would end up either furthered or frustrated by the next teacher.

Sadly, more often than not the next year students have forgotten much of what they learned, or worse they suffer with an inferior, inadequate, or incompetent instructor. Ms. Rhee was not pleased, and from that moment she threw herself not just into improving curriculum and instruction, but also reforming the system so that students would be guaranteed a qualified teacher in a quality school.

Other Teach for America superstars also witnessed, through their own efforts along with observing other stellar teachers, that indeed a committed person can make a difference in the lives of urban and at-risk youth.

However, the sticking element that takes mediocre classrooms into a class of their own is the mindset of "Never sit down."

Especially in charter schools, where galvanized administrators will dismiss teachers who are too easy on their students, teacher are expected to put in 110%, nothing less.

Everyone has to sit down at some point. Even in one class period, at least once every hour, a teacher has to take a seat.

Taking the mantra into metaphor, the results are even more debilitating. Most teacher manuals counsel prospective instructors to manage their time wisely: do not assign too much homework, take a day off once in a while. Monitor the amount of work that you assign in class as well as the projects which you set up for students to complete. Teachers can get overwhelmed very quickly with all the planning and grading that can overwhelm a teacher in a very short time.

Teachers have to have a life so that they can have life to impart to their classrooms. One of my favorite teachers, an older man who later advised on how to proceed with a class that I had just taken over in South Gate, told me that he started his day at 7:30 in the morning, then stayed for an hour after school, leaving at 4: 00pm. "The rest of the day was 'me time'", he told me emphatically.

Another colleague told me how important it was to keep all the work at school. "Never take school work home if you can avoid it," was the first plank of his private time-management philosophy.

One things for sure: "Never sit down" was not advice that they did not advocate. I still remember another new teacher, one who would drag stacks of papers to grade everywhere with him. Sometimes, he would be eating in the faculty lounge and stain the work he was looking over! "We  have got to help that guy with time management," another teacher commented.

At any rate, the idea that a teacher "never sits down", always on the move also illustrates the growing the dependence that students are having on their teachers, and thus the increasing pressure which reduces teachers to burnout and resignation. I have lost count of the number of teachers who went on stress leave in one district, a notoriously corrupt affair in which principals were routinely demoted, transferred, or fired, and teachers were moved from classrooms or schools with little warning. The culture of disrespect, matched with the pressure of bringing up the test scores for low-performing students, pushed many teachers to leave the district in large numbers over the past few years.

"Never sit down" is a standard for which no teacher of limited means and human stamina could ever stand for. A teacher who never sits down is a teacher who ends up lying down for a much longer time. Indeed, some teachers are called to put in thirteen hours a day. They dream about lesson plans and working with tough students to make the most out of a difficult upbringing compromised by an inferior public school system. This challenge of meeting the needs of as many students as possible, coupled with a growing number of students, fewer resources, and no stable support systems at home or at school are all driving teachers away from the profession.

There is only so much that a teacher can stand. I for one cannot stand for the notion that a teacher never sits down, for one person cannot be entrusted with the final future and hopes of a large population of students. Education needs to be freed from the hollow model of one teacher giving, taking, living, staking all for the students. Learning is both active and innate, yet a model which fosters overwhelming investment in the teacher who "never sits down" will not last long.

Be Angry At The Sun -- Analysis

Be Angry At The Sun

That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.

Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty
Political hatreds.

Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.

-----Robinson Jeffers

Of Monterey, California, Robinson Jeffers created poetry which focuses on the cycle of life and death, natural forces which exceed the grasp or the understanding of men. The ebb and flow of nature astounded Jeffers, enough that he could laugh with ease at the troubles and cares of man who would never outlast the birds and the trees surrounding him. The slight, lone Cyprus tree of Monterey Bay symbolizes the major theme of Jeffer's poetry -- the simple and eternal making due in the midst of loss and decay, natural phenomena which in their inexorable beauty still mystify the one looking on.

"Be Angry at the Sun" is a defiant challenge, one which will blind the man who is blind with rage. The sun, gaseous and gargantuan, will not stop shining despite man's pleading and whining. What more can we do but bask in the warmth that we have? If the Sun, like all other stars, expands then explodes, man can do no more than make the most of the sun's glorious rays.

The title is reminiscent also of the Book of Ecclesiastes, in which the Preacher, whom scholars by tradition and inference identify as King Solomon, decries the vain toil of man and all that he does under the sun: 
"Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit." (Ecclesiastes 2: 17)

Before, the Preacher identified the cycles of nature which surpass all that man can do, as even the sun rises, the oceans are filled, and nature continues along its course. For the Preacher, though, life under the sun is gruesome because in the light of the grander scheme of things, it all becomes vanity.

Yet later in his  work, the Preacher stops looking at the grand scheme, reverting his attention to the simplicity of things:

"Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 8: 15)

When He acknowledges the Creator, and not just the Creation, the Preacher's focus and faith is restored. In a similar vein, the poet of "Be Angry at the Sun" outlines the rat-race of man's bitter ambitions and writhing political rivalries. The quest for truth which never ends will give end in a world that ends at some point, and therefore the speaker can laugh at the inevitable without cynical wryness.

That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.

Jeffers dismisses the cynicism of political life "public men publish falsehoods" the root of subject and verb almost link the common nature of man and communication, which will trend toward distortion, yet this sad trend is that -- "nothing new." America is shifted into a long train of dominions, republics and empires, the cycle of the State which gets bigger and then breaks down -- corrupted by corruption and sheer enormity. Historians of diverse callings have outlined this essential and inescapable fate, and Jeffers minces no words to declare that exceptional America will not escape this cycle.

Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia

How can anyone lose one's temper or vent one's spleen at the sun? The raging fire of the Star in the Sky all but neutralizes the heated hate of man, who hates his lot under the sun, like the Preacher who mused that all is vanity when trained exclusively within his limited line of vision. The sun sets, the sun rises, the days and time goes on for man. No point in railing about the drawn-out shadows of the past, no reason to lament that good times and bad will follow each other for nations, for contients, for the world.

"Be angry at the sun for setting." In truth, the sun does not set, but we turn on the earth, or rather the earth revolves, and we are carried away in the turning, thus we perceive that the sun is setting. How telling a command, for us to be angry at something, when in fact our understanding is so skewed, viewing what we see as self-propelling, when in fact we are moving without being aware. We do not realize that the patterns that make night and day, that set the boundaries of who we are and what we do, yet we assume nonetheless, like the vain rooster who crowed the sun into shining, in defining our concerns that we have mastered them.

"Watch the wheel slope and turn." A wheel has no beginning and no end, but it has a maker. Why rage at a thing as vain as a wheel, which goes nowhere on its own? The nations of the world, the history-making "warriors", so convinced of their prowess on the battlefield, are mere notches in the turning.

Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

"Observe" stand back and watch -- the whole cycle of collective cowardice and individual initiative is commonplace. Heroics hold no standard against the grand panoply of human existence. "The cold passion for truth", "passion" is an interesting word, one the conveys emotion and sacrifice, including the inference of The Sacrifice of Christ, the Truth personified who resisted the religious gang of lies and frauds. The dialectic of man and group still means nothing, the exchange of one man against the world distills itself into a frayed and fizzled fight in the light of eternity, in the cycle of empires which wind up then whither away.

You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
From Dante's feet, but even farther from his dirty
Political hatreds.

In this stanza, the poet scans the poetry, the political discourse, and the warlike passions of Rome, both Ancient and Renaissance-era. "The crude sketches of Caesar" refer not just to the satires of the Latin poet Catullus, or even of the Florentine Dante -- who skewered many political figures while outlining the Divine order of the universe in his epic La Commedia Divina. Modern dictators, empty demagogues, who still preach the empty praise of state and nation against God and man's limited role in this grand universe, these are the faded photos of fanatics and fascists long-gone, men who through force of arms would established empires for a thousand years, which would last for a few decades, nothing more. Indeed, we are far removed from these "political hatreds", engrossed in laughing at what does not matter, making light of the mere nothing that political discourse has come, where men and women no longer challenge the established order, but spend away what little remains for the political classes of well-connected interest groups.

Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.

"Yours is not theirs." Whatever you have, you who are informed of the calm reality of a relentless universe in the face of unrelenting man, you have no need to get caught up in the cycles of men trying to break out in their own way "Let boys want pleasure" -- both desire and lack wrapped up in one word. How reminiscent again of the Preacher:

"All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing." (Ecclesiastes 1: 8)

This verse then points to the fullness of time, when the Spirit fulfills in man what he cannot get through his own fill:

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2: 16)

Jeffers has channeled the eternal tempo of man's failure to find life through his own means. "Let boys want pleasure." Immaturity reigns in the one who seeks solace in the immediacy of the moment, the lust of the flesh, a work which breeds disease and death. "Men struggle for power." The pride of life is on full display for the man of "higher" pursuits, frustrated like a vain peacock whose feathers then dress the fan of a drunken lord lulling on a stained couch. "Women perhaps for fame," the lust of the eye moves the women, not just theirs but those who look upon them. Beauty in the eye of beholder, the lard of animals draped on women who seek power and prestige through the men whom they seduce, yet all of these groping and yearnings does the poet reduce to nothing:

"And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be doped."

Repeating the same trope of noun and verb unified in the same root -- just like "public men publish falsehoods" -- the poet indicts man who seeks to define himself by what he does, rather than who he is, will only fall into the same empty cascade of cosmic decay, with nothing determined or decent remaining for him to stand on.

"Theirs is not yours." Their pursuits, their pleasures, their panderings for position and purpose, those do not have to be yours. Why rage at a vain thing? Why yell at the sun, whose glow gets you through one day, and one day at a time is the greatest worth.

The quiet cynicism of this poem transforms into a serene calm, like the Holocaust Survivor in "Shoah", a cheerful man who could recount the horrors of Auschwitz without losing his wit or will:

"What do you want me to do, cry? As long as I am alive, I choose to laugh."

He chose not to be angry at the movements and troubles that shook the world -- and neither should we!

Obama's New Endorsement: Hugo Chavez


Ideologies from the Same Cloth
Out of spite or sheer arrogant exuberance, communistic president Hugo Chavez is calling President Obama "the good guy."

The same politician who intercepted an official photo shoot to endorse his own book, the same executive who has effectively shut down meaningful commerce in his country, who has expelled the Israeli consulate and intimidate the nation's Jewish minority to flee the country, this same demagogue is endorsing another socialized leader in training.

No clearer indication has surfaced like the hoary rhetoric of an overweight, overwrought cancer victim, who is using his final moments to promote the same statist policies in our country.

This hemisphere does not need one more banana republic. Obama has got to go.

ObamaCare Caught up in its Own Red Tape


A 2,400 page will was doomed to have mistakes in it. How many Congressman actually read the entire thing? The fired-up constituents who invaded townhall meetings across the country sure did, and they did not like what they read.

The law defines a health insurance exchange as a "governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a state" in one section of the law, and then says later that individuals who participate in exchanges under that definition are eligible for subsidies. Because the law only says a "state" and not "a state or the federal government," Cannon and Adler argue that the federal government cannot legally dole out subsidies or tax breaks to people who buy insurance from federal exchanges.

Only fourteen states are anywhere near setting up these "exchanges". Louisiana has pledged not to participate, so has Texas. Now they have a winning argument bolstering their states-rights independence.

All of the gobbledygook that got this bill passed is now coming back to haunt the liberal political establishment that foisted this mess on the American people in the first place.

Obama has already back-pedalled from one key portion of the bill. Other commentaries have suggested that the bill unintentionally offers an insurance subsidy to middle class voters.

Then the most  pressing question surfaces: where will the federal government get the money to fund the overwhelming increase in government insurance clients? The final downfall for all collectivized programs will rear its ugly head: central planners, for all their brilliance, simply cannot predict the individual and disparate needs of the population at any given time. A price system which emerges out of the spontaneous order of individual trade and transaction provides a better system for access and quality.

ObamaCare will be repealed, and its own red tape is strangling the law into submission.

Paul Ryan as a Viable VP Pick

Political pundits should give Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin more respect as a potential VP Pick.

Congressman Ryan has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to explain difficult realities to his constituents and the voters in this country, employing a comforting, cogent, and consistent matter to communicate controversial concerns.

In Congress, he has twice led the charge to enact serious and crucial reforms to the entitlement programs which are devouring our national coffers while leaving horrendous debt for future Americans. More than any other politician, he has outlined and expressed this country’s frustration with ObamaCare’s broken promises.

Even though his proposals have met stiff opposition, Ryan has never shied away from meeting with the opposition, even within his own party, to outline the steps that need to be taken so that our country does not go over the fiscal cliff.

Hardly daring to imperil grandmas and grandpas, as one petty commercial suggested in a competitive house race in New York, Congressman Ryan’s budget proposals would save the investments that older Americans have already made while offering future taxpayers better options.

Governor Romney should select a running mate who can articulate the difficulties while familiarizing the nation with the overwhelming of our overwrought tax code.

For the next four years, the United States of America will need leaders, both President and Vice President, who understand not only how to manage government, but how to manage the message of less government, more responsibility, and greater freedom. Paul Ryan would be a good VP pick.

Paterno's Statue Comes Down

Over the weekend, the bronze statue commemorating the many wins of JoePa came down outside of Penn State's football stadium

All of his athletic victories cannot overcome the grave moral failing of a man who put his life and legacy above the well-being of abuse victims.

No one should ever commemorate a man in a statue until after his passing. By raising a standard to honor a man, he is then bound to the public opinion that has institutionally memorialized him.

Joe Paterno chose to remain a prisoner of a legacy that was not worthy the serial harm done to young people -- the victims of a repeat child abuser as well as the youth on the campus who looked up to him as a father figure.

A deeper problem, however, has not been addressed in the wake of this official shame-based removal. Why are so many youth looking for some father-figure to depend on?

Men and women who have left home still need a "home" to belong to, one whose boundaries stretch beyond the four walls of their childhood house of upbringing, but beyond the arbitrary and bland dorms where they live on campus, something greater than themselves.

And now, the students and alumnae must turn their face to a Father far greater than JoePa, a man of clay feet and weak character, who like any man made his man-made legacy more important than the men and women he was called to lead into victory.

Institutions of great renown are falling under the sway of sin and shame. These events were inevitable:

"But now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

"And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (Hebrews 12: 26-28)

The institutions of long-standing: the public school system, organized religion (including the Catholic Church) and now college football are shaking. They have served as surrogate kingdoms for the sons of men.

Yet Jesus, the Son of God, came to offer us His eternal kingdom, which we receive as a gift (Luke 12: 32). This kingdom reign in us (Luke 17: 21) through the power of the Holy Spirit:

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14: 17)

When men desire the rule of God's love in their hearts, through Jesus' death and resurrection on the Cross, we will see fewer traumatic instances of men who fall from fame pandering to the base greed for money, power, and prestige.

Live Like Willy Wonka, not Willy Lohman

Paul Silva's letters are some of the best parts or reading "The Beach Reporter".

I liked how Mr. Silva compared the hard knocks of his growing up with the relative ease that his son is currently facing in the working world:

"I told him he would feel like Willy Lohman, and instead he comes home at night acting like Willy Wonka."

I loved "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" -- the book as well as the movie. I loved how carefree the Candyman could be, and I know and believe that we can all live as freely, if we stop worrying about tomorrow and live in today.

Why strive to be like someone else? Don't try to work for success outside of you -- find the success that first thrives inside you, and live out the good within you.

Don't sell out or sell yourself short to make it in a dog-eat-dog world. Live like the man or woman you were made to be, and roll down the Chocolate River of Life.

Find that sweet spot that makes the rest of life worth living, and you will see nothing but wealth and opportunity wherever you go.

I think that if more of us lived life like Willy Wonka instead of Willy Lohman, we would enjoy life, and that more abundantly.

My favorite verse that encapsulates this for me:

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the rest shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33)

The Aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

Now matter how much the media plays up this terrible event, it remains exactly that -- a terrible event.

I cannot believe that some pundits actually claim that there is an epidemic of gun violence in this country.

That is patently untrue, and enforcing stricter gun laws will not undo the tragic element of this fallen world.

I was talking with one man a few days ago, who commented that in two different states, the same scenario of a lone gunman attacking a legislator occurred. In Texas, the outcry demanded that more citizens be permitted to carry firearms. In California, the growing demand for more gun-control erupted.

Guns are dangerous tools, when used improperly. The lone gunman in the Virginia Tech Massacre relied on  handguns, not assault weapons, yet he inflicted widespread harm.

Controlling the sale of weapons over the Internet would perhaps solve some of the problems associated with the disturbing trend of too much fire power accumulated by one person.

Yet the last thing that politicians or activists should do is enact a rash set of laws to prevent future violent events.

I believe that the better response is to permit qualified and well-rehearsed individuals to carry firearms. Freeing up a man's right to bear arms will only expand the freedom and safety of all.

Although some would find such a suggestion alarming, even out-right foolish, the alternative of taking away guns only prevents law-abiding citizens from arming themselves, while brilliant yet immoral criminals such as James Holmes will find more nebulous means of circumventing stricter gun laws.

Controlling the guns will not control the evil tendencies of men. The states and the federal government have the authority to require that individuals demonstrate consistent competence and skill in using a firearm, but severely limiting the sale of firearms will not prevent explosive, spontaneous acts of violence like the movie-house massacre on July 20 in Aurora, Colorado.

We live in a fallen world, one in which we cannot expect law enforcement to prevent every crime. This alarmism is a symptom of the more alarming sorrow -- that men and women do not trust in God the Father, who sent His Son to die for us, to live through us, and in whom we have all protection:

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54: 17)


"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." (Psalm 91: 1-3)

Now, some may dispute attributing the promises of Psalm 91 for the believer, arguing that Psalm 91 is for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. However, God sees us as His own Son because of His great love for us:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

God gave us His own Son to save us from death, do you not believe that He can protect you from wicked men and their evil designs?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Two Types of People: Shopping Carts

Some people love to divide the world into "two kinds of people."

"People who like pie, and people who don't."

People who like cats, and people who have issues."
One of the most common expressions that he loved to share:

"Those who put their shopping carts away, and those who don't."

One person would tell me this every time that we went to the supermarket. After we loaded up all the groceries in the car, he would have me take the shopping cart back to the stalls near the front of the parking lot.

As the years have gone by, I find such demarcations more limiting and less informative.

The main idea behind "two types of people" rests in that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Yet the dialectic of right and wrong can create  more conflict than security.

We are not called to live by the letter of the law (2 Corinthians 3: 6), but to be led by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5: 16).

I have gone shopping for many years, and many times I take a shopping cart standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Sometimes, if I am close enough to the front of the store, I do push the shopping cart back to its stall with the other carts. Most of the time, though, I just leave it near the curb or next to one of the cement islands in the middle of the parking lot.

We are not called to do "the right thing" instead of the wrong thing. What would work in one circumstance would be uncalled for in another situation.

Frankly, we need to spend less time creating little rules of "right and wrong" for every situation in life. Let the Spirit of God lead you. Sometimes, you are doing other patrons a favor by leaving the shopping cart near the curb in the parking stall. Someone will pass by and pick it up.

The real issue for me, though, abides in the need for every person to grow beyond the traditions of our elders and seek out the certainty of the eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ has been made wisdom for us (1 Corinthians 1: 30)

There are two types of people in this world: the sons of Adam, dead in their trespasses; the sons of God, alive in righteousness. Our standing, whether in death or life, has nothing to do with whether we put our shopping carts away or not.

The Real Issue Behind Romney, Bain Capital, and Tax Returns

I believe that Mitt Romney would do himself, his party, and the country a favor by releasing his tax returns as far back as his father the former Governor of Michigan had done decades before.

If Romney does have off-shore accounts, he could use this revelation to expose the dysfunction tax system which discourages wealthy people from keeping their wealth in this country.

Under President Obama's leadership, the Bush Tax cuts have been extended only incrementally, which rattles markets and entrepreneurs who need stability and predictability in planning for investment and job growth. The United States still labors under the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and now businesses are hurting under the ObamaCare tax, which will force them to put forward more for their workers' healthcare.

Instead of attacking Romney for his tax returns, we need to hold the president accountable for promoting a tax code and tax culture which discourages wealth creation in the first place, driving well-endowed people to place their enormous wealth in off-shore accounts to avoid the outrageous taxes.

Bain was Boon to the Candidate and the Country

The voters in this country deserve to hear a mature conversation on the nature of capitalism.

A businessman is out to make money, there is nothing wrong with that.

A businessman needs as much room and continuity to risk his wealth without losing his investment. Government has a responsibility to enforce the rule of law, contracts, and punish fraud, but the networking of the spontaneous order does a  much better job of disciplining poor businesses and rewarding good ones.

Part of wealth creation is creative destruction, which in the long term works out of the best for every worker who gets laid off. Most companies will lay off the bottom 10% who are neither performing well nor wish to continue much longer with the company. The only reason why many people stay in jobs that they hate and resist losing these jobs is that looking for another career can be daunting, even scary.

However, these shifts in investment and allocation are essential to a well-running economy.

Wealth creators do create jobs, too -- but their first priority is to make a profit, which then profits the consumer as well as the laborer.

Bain Capital under Romney's tenure took over companies that were losing more than they were taking in. Sometimes a company revives, other companies will thrive, yet there are others which cannot survive, no matter how much money an outside firm allots to the firm, and therefore Bain Capital liquidated the firm.

The voters in this country can appreciate this conversation. Rapid innovations in personal technology have rendered obsolete previous forms of entertainment. Long-playing records gave way to 8-tracks to cassette tapes to CDs to I-pods, and so on. These changes are great for the consumer, but demand a great deal of  flexibility to the rapidly-changing market.

President Obama and his liberal cadre of elites are insulting the American people first by misrepresenting Romney's record at Bain Capital, then dressing up free-market capitalism as a free-for-all of rich, greedy hoarders who despoil the average laborer for a profit. Compassion and heat-felt sympathy does not drive trade, nor does it provide jobs or a higher standard of living. Workers in all starndards of empllyemtne udnerstand that job opportunities require that businessmen can make a profit. Romney should  not be shamed for his leadership at Bain Capital, and neither should the American people be shamed into believing that less government and more private enterprise is a bad thing.

Ramirez is Spot On on Obama's Spotty Record

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Diversion Indeed -- and it's not Working. . .
President has no record to run on, except the broken one that keeps blaming George W. Bush, the weather, the sun, the moon, the starts for all the troubles besetting our country and economy.

This man was a debating choice within the Democratic party from the moment that he ran for President.

Hardly debatable, he has one of the worst records for a chief executive in this country.

1.A steep $5 trillion added to the national debt.

2. Trillion dollar annual deficits.

3. Tax cuts mired in unemployment benefits which benefit no one.

4. Two commissions for debt reduction, and he refused to lead, endorse, or implement either one of them.

5. We are still in Afghanistan ---- and he promised that we would be out of there by now.

6. Highest stagnant unemployment rate since the great depression.

7. The most anemic economic growth since World War II

8. Declining quality and quantity due to ObamaCare, one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation passed in modern times -- without any support form the opposition and signification opposition from the president's own party.

9. The highest corporate tax rate in the Western World - with no sign of diminishing.

10. Declining industrial base because of overbearing environmental legislation and the EPA run amok on regulation.

11. Bailouts that bailed out public sector unions.

And on and on. . .

Thursday, July 19, 2012

WaxmanCare in the South Bay

"The Good Stuff is on the Way -- Someday. . ."
“By affirming the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court has ensured that hard-working Californians from all walks of life will have access to health insurance and health care services,” Benson Forer said. “The impact on our patients is extraordinary: over half of the 25,000 patients we see each year at Venice Family Clinic will have access to Medicaid in 2014." (----The Argonaut News -- July 12, 2012

The operative word is "2014."

I have never read so confounding and distorting of times and tenses in one sentence.
"The impact is extraordinary. . .over half our patients will have access. . ."
How can there be an impact now if the effects do not arise until two years later?
Does the federal government every deliver on anything that it promises? The current administration is pregnant with broken promises which have emerged still-born from Congress and have deadened our economy.

President Obama claimed that American troops would be out of Afghanistan -- we still have troops stationed in Kabul and throughout the tribal-troubled rural areas.

Congressman Henry Waxman, who is running in a new Congressional District which includes Playa del Rey and Santa Monica, claimed that the United States is not broke, even though we are hurting under multi-trillion dollar deficits and a national debt which is spooking investors and discouraging future bond-holders.

President Obama and Congressman Waxman, chief architects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, both claimed that their bill would not raise taxes on the American people.

However, Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the individual mandate only as an extension of Congress' taxing power. Obama-WaxmanCare is now the largest tax increase in American history. This mandate hits middle income tax payers, many of whom are struggling to find or keep their jobs, while the population of impoverished and dependent is growing at a disturbing rate. Do the voters of the Santa Monica Bay want to live in a banana republic where a precious, specious few have money while everyone is poor and dependent on the government?

President Obama and Congressman Waxman claimed that health premiums would go down with the passage of their signature legislation. Rates are going up an average of $2,500.

Obama-WaxmanCare promised that millions of Americans would be allowed to keep their coverage. Millions are about to lose their health insurance once the mandate comes to effect. No matter how many laws and mandates that the federal government passes, state force cannot create the requisite supply to meet the demand of a greater number of insured. For this reason, more carriers are dropping coverage or exiting the insurance market altogether.

Obama-WaxmanCare is unprotecting, unaffordable, and uncaring, a token of the broken promises of our President and a local Congressman who are expanding state power while actually diminishing our rights and limiting access to affordable health care.

To the voters of the Santa Monica Bay, from Rancho Palos Verdes to Malibu, we must send a message to Washington: Stop the spending! Save our Nation!

Retire Henry Waxman this November!