Thursday, December 27, 2007

The World Tries to Escape Natural Consequences

This article from the Wall Street Journal illustrates a symptom of a much broader problem. The writer compares the subprime mortgage problems to the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. The foolish virgins bet tons of money on subprime mortgages, and had huge profits for a time, followed by the current huge losses. Now, the government is coming to bail out these foolish lenders. The article says, in part:
There were five other virgins. They worked hard in industry rather than finance, saved rather than borrowed, paid their taxes, didn't speculate on subprime mortgages and didn't run hedge funds. They didn't get fat bonuses, either, during the bubble or during the crunch. They weren't running risks -- or, at least, that's what they thought. The snag is that, after the Federal Reserve's Ben Bernanke and his French cousin, Jean-Claude Trichet started spraying around cheap cash to bail out Stan, Chuck, Fannie and the like, inflation started seeping into the economy. That eroded the real value of the "wise" virgins' savings.
The real disease is the desire to escape the natural consequences of foolish choices. This disease manifests itself in all aspects of life. People everywhere refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and then expect someone else to come in behind them to rescue them from the law of the harvest.

This echoes another time in history when people thought there was no benefit to wisely following the commandments of God. The wicked were fat and happy:
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
The only problem is that "the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin." CEO's artificially inflated stock prices with these subprime loans, took their huge bonuses, and left their businesses in shambles. Lots of innocent people are being hurt because these businesses are in such trouble, and now, all of us that have been wise with our finances are faced with higher inflation and lower value of savings.

Heeding the Prophet's counsel from way back in October of 1998 would have saved many troubles both in the post-Clinton recession and 9/11 recession. That same counsel, if applied today, would have saved many from the risk of foreclosure and the whole US economy would be stronger.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Life in the Chruch

In response to Elder Ballard's challenge, I will tell a little about my experience as a member of the Church. I attended a religious seminary class every morning before school all four years of high school. Since then, I have read the scriptures essentially every day. Daily scripture reading changed my life. Before I started reading, I was a terrible high school student. The spiritual nourishment of seminary and scripture reading gave me purpose. I became a stellar student and that all combined to prepare me to serve a mission for two years preaching the Gospel in Philadelphia. I was never happier.

On my mission I learned to express myself to others. I learned the Gospel by giving all I had to the work. There is no other opportunity to offer all my money, time, and energy to the Lord. That sacrifice has set the path of my life. I then attended BYU, where I took religion classes from the best teachers in all the Church. I took classes on Isaiah, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and anything else I could fit in my schedule. I was never happier.

A little over a year ago, President Hinckley, the prophet of the Lord, issued a challenge to the men of the Church. He said to obtain all the education we could. I took that challenge seriously. After that challenge, I prepared for and took the GMAT. I have started the MBA program at Texas A&M University. And I have never been happier.

I have learned from all these experiences that the happiest times in life come when I follow the prophet. Nothing has been easy, but it isn't supposed to be. I believe more and more that the greater the challenges, the greater the joy. Jesus certainly experienced that. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. In life, we all have our own crosses to carry. The cross I have had to figuratively carry has taught me that God lives and knows me. Not only that, but He is interested in the affairs of my life. I could never have planned the course my life has taken, but I can plainly see that God's hand has directed my path. Whatever price I must pay to become acquainted with God is worth the price. Nephi was highly favored in his afflictions. Really, it is only through affliction that anyone realizes how highly favored they are.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elder Ballard Spoke at BYU-Hawaii Graduation

I thought this was an important challenge Elder Ballard gave graduates.
We have a major responsibility as Latter-day Saints to define ourselves instead of letting others define us. Far too many people have a poor understanding of the Church because most of the information they hear about us is from the news media reports that are often driven by controversies. Too much attention to controversy has a negative impact on peoples’ perceptions of what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really is.
There has been so much said about the Church by people who know so little about it. News reports focus on the sensational and ignore the nitty gritty of who we are as Saints. Some news coverage is ridiculous. There are a few talking head who have intense hatred for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One thing Mitt Romney's campaign has done is bring these people out of the woodwork. Even a few of his opponents have ventured into anti-Mormon fare.

A Great Speech on Freedom and Religion

I never thought I would want to quote the President of the University of Utah. But, I believe he is a BYU grad and he was speaking at BYU-Idaho, so it is OK. The link is here. This is a very good way to make the point Mitt Romney was trying to make in College Station in his Faith in America speech when he said: "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom."
Protecting one’s freedom of religion necessarily and inescapably presupposes the propriety of allegiance to something higher than that government. Any government that respects freedom of religion must necessarily wrestle with, and accept, its own limitations. If you believe that a government must provide freedom of religion, then you must also believe – and that government must also believe – that there are appropriate limits to government power, that there are parts of our lives into which a government cannot intrude.
There is also a warning for when a country starts limiting religious freedom:
If you see a government trying to suppress and control freedom of religion, then you know trouble is on the way. It is like the canary in the coal mine. It is the first signal that a government is beginning to abuse all the human rights or soon will.

Ahh, School!

I have spent the past five months in the MBA program at Texas A&M University. I love it. It is, of course, my excuse for never posting anything here. Especially early on, a twelve hour day (including class and homework) was short. I park at the LDS Institute of Religion and am usually the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave at night. Various things have combined to make this the happiest time in my life, despite (or is it because of) being overworked. I wish I could be a student forever. Well, there's always a PhD... We'll see about that.

The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band

I have a couple of pictures of the band. They are quite the spectacle.
This is the best picture I could get of a formation at the t.u. game since my seats were so dang good.
video
The precision marches are impressive to watch. The old computer programs that helped bands learn marches have two people in one spot for the Aggie Band. It took a better program for the Aggies.

My First Aggie vs t.u. Football Game

I attended the A&M vs. t.u. football game for the first time this year. I sat at about the 45 yard line on row 28. I have never been to such a loud football game. The 12th Man (that is the student section for non-Aggies out there) was yelling even during time-outs and commercial breaks. The football team was mediocre most of the year, but they showed up to play that day. It was great to BTHO t.u.!
This picture is the 12th Man. He is a walk on who represents all the students on the field.
This was my view of the game from the student section.

My First House


When I started school, I bought a house in Bryan, TX, just a few miles away from Texas A&M University. This picture was my first week in August. The house had been vacant and the lawn was long. Yes, that is three foot grass you see. And yes, that is a rented brush mower. It could barely handle the tall grass. Come to think of it, in the August heat, I could barely handle the tall grass.

Andrew's wedding


This picture is of most of my cousins. With the family scattered between Seattle, Houston, Oregon, Dallas, and Virginia, it is hard to get many more together at once than this. Somehow, we didn't get a picture with all of us and Andrew. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding.

Trip to Washington

I have been immensely busy with school and have not updated anything here in months. More on that later. Here are a few more pictures from my trip to see my cousin's wedding in the shadow of Mount Rainier. On day 3 (June 28) we rode horses with Mom's sister and two of her kids.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This is too good not to keep forever

From The Corner.
Two Great Stories--Truly Great [Michael Ledeen]

Another inspirational email going around. Fabulous.

STORY NUMBER ONE

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago .. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.

And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.

Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.

He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against TheMob, and he knew that the cost would be great.

So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street.

But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.

STORY NUMBER TWO

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.

He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.

He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his blood cold: a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching
danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.

Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.


Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet.

He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.


So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.

SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?

Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Captialism rocks!

From the invaluable Jay Nordlinger at NRO:
Finally, a picture from a reader: here. He accompanied it with the words, “Capitalism rocks.” In case your computer has trouble bringing the photo up: It shows a Wal-Mart Supercenter on Karl Marx Street. The street, and the store, are located in the former East Germany.

Friday, August 17, 2007

This is for Kyle

Buy the shirt here.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I still like Mitt most, but this is hilarious

* Fred Thompson's glare has the same effect as a Cruciatus Curse.

* Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort ever feared. Why? Because Dumbledore was friends with Fred Thompson.

* Fred Thompson can transform into the most powerful Animagus form of all: Fred Thompson.

* If you call Fred Thompson a Muggle, he'll cast a spell on you where you spit out all your teeth. He uses his fist to cast the spell.

* A Quidditch game ends when either the Golden Snitch is caught or Fred Thompson becomes bored.

* Fred Thompson has killed more Death Eaters than any Auror... and that was just this morning.

* Even an Imperius Curse can't make you vote against Fred Thompson.

* SPOILER!!! At the end of Deathly Hallows, Fred Thompson kills Voldemort. With a ping pong paddle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Week in Seattle - Days One and Two

Last week, I made a trip with my parents to Seattle to see a cousin's wedding. On day one we missed the flight from DFW and had to go standby on a later flight. We lucked out and made it before it was too late.





After arriving in Seattle we found food and then found the Temple. That night the cousins arrived from Houston and Oregon. We rented a cabin in the shadow of Mount Ranier.

On day two, Mom, Dad, Braden Asay, Patrick Jones, and I went hiking on around Mount Ranier.


The scenery was breathtaking and the weather was perfect.





Whoop! Little Tahoma Peak is behind me here. More pictures are on others' cameras, so I will post them when I get copies.

The White Horse Prophecy

There was an article making the rounds on the Internet which talks about a prophecy about the constitution hanging by a thread and the Latter-day Saints coming to the rescue. The Church does not accept the prophecy as authentic, but it still has some traction in the lore of many Church members.

Some criticize this as evidence of Mormon intentions to take over the country. The recording of the prophecy 10 years after the Prophet Joseph Smith's death is interesting historically. This was a time when the Church was under intense scrutiny from the American government. It would not be long before federal troops were sent to squash the "Mormon uprising." So just when the government is ramping up its opposition to the Church, an alleged prophecy of Joseph's makes the rounds about the Mormons saving the Constitution and the United States. Even if origins of the prophecy are questionable, the timing of its publication is interesting.

I have heard about the constitution hanging by a thread for many years. I have never been inclined to believe that a Mormon being president was key to its fulfillment. I have always thought that this would be more of a grassroots type thing. Mormons would join with like minded citizens to work towards common goals and save the country. Many today talk about threats to the Constitution. The revelations instruct us to seek good and wise men to administer government (see D&C 98:5-10). If there is any validity to the warning of the constitution hanging by a thread, finding good and wise leaders is the key to its protection.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Joe Lieberman has it Right

To surrender to al Qaeda in Iraq would be catastrophic.
The officials I met in Baghdad said that 90% of suicide bombings in Iraq today are the work of non-Iraqi, al Qaeda terrorists.

Mitt the Pro-Lifer

I remember this speech from when it happened. All of Massachusetts knew Mitt was pro life and yet he kept campaign promises to not mess with the people's abortion laws (either to tighten or loosen). His articulation of this position is one of the main reasons I have been such a Mitt Romney fan for the past four years.

Liars in others' campaigns have tried to cherry pick this press conference to say Mitt is a flip flopper and has not always been pro life. Instead, he shows a great ability to articulate a strong pro-life position.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Here
is a great website for t-shirts.
Saw 'em off short baby!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Consider this Prophetic

Nordlinger reports:
Later in the conference, another regional leader will say to an American, “If you leave Iraq too soon, you may find that you have to come back.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rev. Sharpton Visited Utah

I have read several accounts of Al Sharpton's visit to Utah. I may have been pretty hard on his comments, but I feel pretty good about how he looked for common ground. The reports say he visited Welfare Square, Temple Square, and the Family History Library. I sincerely hope Sharpton recognizes the good we do and, despite differences, can join with us for good causes should occasion arise.

Friday, May 11, 2007

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

That is the phrase Paul used in Hebrews 12:1. That is one of the best testimonies of the Church. I look at the men and woment I have seen in the Church and they are the most noble, most inspiring, and most upright before the Lord that I have ever seen.

From the Quorum of the Twelve, to the professors I had at BYU, to the local leadership, to the friends I have had along the way I have marveled at their goodness.

Moroni 7:10-15 tells us how to judge. If it leads us to do good, to believe in God, and to follow Christ it is good and is of God. The doctrines of the Church lead these amazing people. No one can honestly separate beliefs from behavior.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I've finally got Democrats figured out

Zombies must have eaten their brains.
Update: I apoligize. It is the Republicans who support the amnesty bill who have had their brains eaten by zombies. I presume that the zombies will vote Democrat too.

Mr. Tolerance still at it

So it seems Sharpton backed off his bigoted statement for a bit, but has changed his mind. He is apparently ready to come out in full attack mode on the Church's "racism." Who on earth made Sharpton the conscience of anyone? He is perhaps the most racist person I have ever heard. Disgusting.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Mormons Are Good People, But..."

I love sentences that start that way. They usually end in "...their doctrine is wacky/wrong/inspired of the devil."

If we are so misguided, why do we do so much good? Why do so many of our youth avoid the pitfalls of the modern era like sex and drugs? Why do hundreds of thousands of our high schoolers get out of bed at 5AM to attend seminary? Why do over 25,000 19-year-olds volunteer for grueling missionary service each year? Why do we have such a high rate of upper level education? Why are we so well respected in the business world?

The people who have the biggest problem with the Church are the extremely open minded and extremely closed minded. Those with open minds hate the Church for its unyielding adherance to standards, and those with closed minds hate the Church because of its challenge to the traditions of their fathters.

Mister Tolerance Himself

Not only is Al Sharpton an anti-Semite, it would appear he is also an anti-Mormon. He recently said:
As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry, that’s a temporary situation.
Aren't tolerant people wonderful? (I wonder what Sharpton thinks of Harry Reid. I will attack Reid for his positions, but if someone were to attack him on the basis of his religion, I will be the first to come to his defence.)

(Hat tip NRO- I first heard this on Rush during the first hour)

Monday, May 07, 2007

I Thought This Was A Masterpiece

I know this is long, but it would be a shame to paraphrase.
You already know basic LDS doctrine—the idea of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. And that PBS special gave you glimpses into our homes and our peculiarities, and introduced you to some of the controversies and oxymorons we live with. But I still want to answer your question, What does it mean to be LDS.?

My instant answer is that the core of the LDS religion is an eternal view of everything—from before birth to long after death. It is a series of enlarging circles.

I write this from my woman’s perspective, and in 2007. Some things may change over the next fifty years, but this is what I have seen and been in my nearly 52 years of life as a Mormon.

As an infant, my parents’ firstborn, I was taken in my father’s arms and given a name and a blessing. There, I was at the center of a priesthood circle. Other men (probably my uncles, though of course I don’t remember), joined Dad as he blessed me. They each put one hand under my little body and one hand on the shoulder of the person standing next to them. They literally and symbolically supported me, and joined their faith with my dad’s. This circle—a prayer circle, if you will—is a common one in our community.

Though Dad was in his early twenties when he gave me that first blessing, he had already served a three-year mission for the Church in Finland, during which he anointed the sick and gave other blessings by the laying on of hands and by virtue of the priesthood (usually referred to as the Melchizedek Priesthood, but actually called the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God). Dad was never formally trained in this priesthood, but was ordained to various offices in it from the time he was twelve, learning “line upon line, precept upon precept.”

I suspect my father was tearful at the miracle of my tiny body, and at the responsibility I introduced. He was a student, pursuing an advanced degree, and Mom was a recent college graduate. Though poor and struggling under the rigors of academia, it was nothing new for Dad to claim priesthood authority as he blessed me, and, knowing Dad, he did this with great faith. I’m sure he blessed Mom before her hard labor began (I have watched him bless her several times before childbirth), and he would continue giving priesthood blessings to me and to my siblings throughout our lives—the most difficult one being at my brother’s hospital bedside after we were told he would not survive the injuries he had sustained in an accident. That brother, Dad’s namesake (Bobby), lifted his arms as high as he could when Dad walked into the ER room. Bobby was threaded and tubed to monitors and IVs, and being transfused. He said one word: “Hug.” And that’s it—that’s the picture. Dad is maneuvering around the ganglia of wires and tubes to embrace his son, and then to bless him. It’s a godly scene. It expresses the image I have of God—a corporeal being who can reach around our mortal mischief and earthbound wiring to embrace us in the fullness of His glory, no matter how damaged we are.

Later, when Dad’s pancreas failed, it was Bobby who blessed him. That’s the Mormon circle.

Often, at the beginning of a school year or at moments of crisis, a Mormon father will place his hands on the head of his child or of his wife and say the words, “In the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, I bless you.” He will try to open his soul to whatever words God would have him say. His faith that God can reveal things to him magnifies his sense of a divine and loving Father in Heaven, and also magnifies his love for the one he is blessing. That principle—that everyone can receive revelation, and that everyone can be a priest (and yes, a priestess)—is core to Mormonism.

By the time I was five, I learned the words to the most frequently sung Primary song: “I am a Child of God/ And He has sent me here/ Has given me an earthly home/with parents kind and dear.” I grew up understanding before I understood anything else that God was the father of my spirit, and knew who I was, that he knew me by name.

At age eight, I was baptized, and again surrounded by a circle of men and blessed by my father. This time, I was confirmed a member of the Church and instructed to “receive the Holy Ghost.”

At age twelve, I began what we now call Young Women’s. It has changed somewhat since I entered the program, and I like the changes. Each YW class starts this way: One of the girls stands and asks, “Who will stand for truth and righteousness?” The others then rise and answer, “I will stand for truth and righteousness.” Together, they recite, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places…”

Again, that communal circle of commitment, and the individual reiteration of a real and loving God embrace a Mormon’s world.

I was still twelve when I got my Patriarchal Blessing, given (as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob blessed their sons) in the spirit of revelation. My grandfather was an ordained Patriarch, so my blessing begins, “Dear grand-daughter, Margaret Jean Blair.” Almost all Patriarchal blessings contain yet another message of God’s love. Among many other things, my blessing says that because I am the firstborn in my family, I am to “be a guide and to set an example for [my] younger brothers and sisters, even as a star sets the course for the mariner.” It also says something which became deeply important during my teenage years: “Know that your parents love you.”

When I went to the temple at age twenty-four, I was introduced to other circles and embraces. I began wearing “garments,”–underclothes which remind me daily of the promises I have made to God. I live in a world of symbols and metaphors. I wear them, and I love them. If I could, I would dance the temple rituals with uplifted arms and jubilant music. I would bless and receive blessings; I would praise and thank God with every part of my body.

I became a writer, a historian, a sometimes scholar, and a teacher. But I always understood that my most important roles would be as my husband’s wife and my children’s mother—just as Bruce’s most important roles would be as my husband and as their father.

One of the most beautiful days of my life was when Bruce and I went to the temple with our oldest daughter and watched her marry a good man. Mormon weddings don’t have long aisles and cathedral-filling organ chords. In fact, there’s no music at all, and we can’t see much of the bridal gown, because it is covered by temple robes. In a small room, furnished with a cloth-covered altar and fifty chairs or so, the temple sealer (in this case, my uncle—though it’s not usually a family member) gives counsel to the couple, and then instructs the groom to lead his bride to the altar. There, they kneel facing each other, and a sealer binds them together for “time and eternity.” It is a holy and quiet ceremony. The coordinated bridesmaid dresses and perfect cake wait until the reception.

After I die, I will be dressed in my temple robes for burial. My daughters will cover my face with my temple veil before the casket is closed. One of my sons will likely dedicate my grave—again in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. This time, my body will be supported by pall bearers, probably my sons and grandsons. I hope many of my posterity will have served missions by then, and that my sons will have blessed their own babies. I hope I will see it all. I hope I will enjoy one living circle before I am enclosed in the earth: the circle where my husband and I hold a great-grandbaby right before she is given a name and a blessing.

So the core of my Mormon life, Pastor, is Jesus Christ. My life began by being consecrated to Him in the center of that priesthood circle, and it will end with someone dedicating my grave in His name. I hope that His name will also be engraved in the marrow of my bones and in the eternal cells of my immortal soul. I fully believe that He knows me by name, and that my name—with yours and everyone else’s—is already engraved in his hands and in his heart.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Romney Speaks of the Deep Waters of Life

Romney spoke at commencement at Regent University. All I can say is WOW!
Over the years, I have watched a number of people live out their lives in shallow water. In the shallows, life is all about yourself – your job, your money, your rights, your needs, your ideas, your comforts. In the deeper waters, life is about others – spouse, family, friends, faith, community, country. In the deep waters, there are challenging ideas, opposing opinions, protracted battles of consequence.

You are, of course, giving a great deal of thought to your career. The economic environment may be more turbulent and competitive than my generation has known. Some of you will be tempted to stay near shore, where there are no big breakers and where you will never make any waves. Others will push beyond the sandbar, pursuing new frontiers, exploring new ideas, driving to achieve, to learn, to influence, to contribute.

If there ever was a time for great Americans, great and good Americans, Americans who are willing to cross into the deep waters of life, it is now. You cross into the deep waters by marrying and raising good children. There is no work more important to America's future that the work that is done within the four walls of the American home.

You cross into the deep waters by driving yourself in your education and in your avocation beyond the safe and comfortable, to reach new insights, to make contributions, to serve. You cross into the deep waters by serving in your church, in your community, in the military, in government or in volunteer service. I am optimistic about the future of America because I have seen the spirit and heart of the American people.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Things Are Changing

I learned a new thing. "Tony's shared items" are links to interesting articles. I will probably not commentate as much on politics, but will provide links to things I find interesting, either because of their truth or utter absurdity.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One Smart Thing To Say About Global Warming

If the US has draconian pollution laws, companies will leave for countries with fewer restrictions. The same has happened with taxes and labor markets.

And if polluting industries set up shop in lax countries they will be even dirtier that they would have been in the US. So to whatever degree emissions do affect the environment, manufacturers leaving the US will have a net negative affect on the globe even if it improves emissions here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I like Investors Business Daily cartoons

I thought this one was particularly accurate.

Harry Reid is a Disgrace

I am very irritated with him right now. Examples here, here, and here. I don't feel like commentating (yes that is a word, or at least it is now), but I am rather irritated. It seems like a guy who has read the Book of Mormon would know the great dangers caused by traitors who seek power. Reid seems to be jumping for joy that war may lead to more Democrat seats in Congress.

I will make a prediction: Some time down the road, we will learn what has really happened in the War on Terror and George W. Bush will be revered as a visionary who did everything possible to fight evil. He has never published his greatest successes because to do so would be to reveal our secrets to the enemy and endanger innocent lives.

Instead we have a fifth column operating here at home. Political power is more important that doing the right thing. When the tide of the war was in our favor, almost everyone - Democrats included - supported the President and the war. Now that things aren't going as well as hoped, everyone jumps ship.

This may well be a war we can't win. But this is a war we MUST fight with everything we have or there will be a huge price to pay.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Driving down the road I saw:

Some semis carry heavy loads.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thus Begins Baseball Season

I attended the Rangers game today. They solidly beat the Red Sox 8 to 4. Sammy Sosa homered. It was a good night. Except for one thing. I nearly froze. They reported over the PA system that it was the coldest game ever played at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Earlier today I was working outside and saw snow. Yes, SNOW - in Texas, in April, during baseball season. I am very concerned with global cooling. I think people should drive SUV's more and use more gas. If that causes warming, then bring it on. I was cold all day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Here is the man I really wish we could vote for


The rendezvous with destiny is still in front of us. Each generation has its challenge. All generations of the past have faced their challenge head on. Right now, it looks like this one won't.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Amazing, Absolutely Amazing

Love continues to wax colder:
Ah, Germany. Was ever any country less in need of lebensraum? How about this story? “‘Dump Your Children Here’ Box To Stop Mothers Killing Their Babies”:

Desperate mothers are being urged to drop their unwanted babies through hatches at hospitals in an effort to halt a spate of infanticides that has shocked Germany.

At least 23 babies have been killed so far this year, many of them beaten to death or strangled by their mothers before being dumped on wasteland and in dustbins.

Police investigating the murders are at a loss to explain the sudden surge in such cases, which have involved mothers of all ages all over the country…

Last Thursday a 27-year-old woman known as Sabine H surrendered to police in an east German town after her newborn child was found in a blue plastic rubbish bag trapped in the reeds of a lake.

In the same week Monika K, 26, was arrested on suspicion of throwing her baby out of a ten-storey Hamburg apartment building, wrapped in a plastic shopping bag. She had given birth to him half an hour before, in the bath. A dog found the bag and scratched it open.

For the past week, Susanne H from Baiersdorf in Bavaria has been on trial for strangling her baby daughter and putting her in the freezer…


Germany has one of the lowest fertility rates in Europe, net population loss, and a rapidly depopulating east that’s economically unsustainable. Thirty per cent of German women are childless, 40 per cent of female university graduates are childless, and its last election offered voters what Americans would regard as the statistically improbable choice of a childless man vs a childless woman. Meanwhile, the last gals in the country still in the procreation business have to be offered E-Z-trash drop-off bins in order to stop them tossing their bairns out the apartment window.

By the way, look at the first word of that report, from The Times of London: “Desperate” mothers. Why, in a land of socialized health care and lavish welfare, are mothers so “desperate”? Feckless boyfriends seem to play a part. But then Germany has one of the lowest marriage rates in the developed world.

It’s getting harder not to conclude that parts of Europe are evolving into a kind of post-human society.
Hat Tip NRO

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Here is a President I could really vote for

AWESOME FACTS ABOUT FRED THOMPSON

* Fred Thompson has on multiple occasions pronounced "nuclear" correctly.

* Fred Thompson has blasted more people in the face with a shotgun than even Dick Cheney.

* The masked executioner of Saddam Hussein: Fred Thompson.

* Not only does Fred Thompson cut taxes, he cuts tax collectors.

* Fred Thompson is the only person to have ever bested Miyamato Mushashi in a duel. The reason Musashi is so vague about the book of the void is because the fifth ring of combat is really Fred Thompson.

* The reason Fred Thompson didn't want to stay in the Senate for long is because all the extra scrutiny kept him from doing his favorite hobby: Prowling the streets at night killing drug dealers.

* Every night before going to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson.

* Fred Thompson took over what was Al Gore's Senate seat, thereby dramatically reducing the Senate's carbon footprint. Fred Thompson then created carbon offset offsets by wastefully burning hippies.

* The Fremen consider "Fred Thompson" a killing word.

* Fred Thompson reconsidered running for reelection after 9/11 but later decided to handle things on his own. He was soon seen entering the Middle East with a bottle of tequila in one hand an a handgun in the other. They're still counting the dead.

* Though Fred Thompson left the Senate in 2003, Harry Reid still hasn't stopped wetting his pants.

* Fred Thompson's gaze can kill small animals.

* Fred Thompson once ended a filibuster by ripping out a Senator's heart and showing it to him before he died.

* The actual cause of global warming: Fred Thompson's burning rage.

* The budget to Law & Order was dramatically increased when Fred Thompson was added to the cast because he has to be digitally inserted into the scenes since anytime he's near Hollywood liberals, he kills them.

* Only two things can kill Superman: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson.

* Fred Thompson once stood on our south border and glared at Mexico. There was no illegal immigration for a month.

* Scientists predict that when Fred Thompson dies he'll explode taking out the five nearest planets before collapsing into a black hole.

* At a campaign stop, a Belgian Hound tried to hump Fred Thompson's leg. That breed of dog no longer exists.

* Fred Thompson vows not only to win in Iraq but also to forcefully free Vietnam from Communism, thus giving America a perfect win/loss record for wars again.

* If you purchase a weather radio, it will wake you up with an alarm to warn you when Fred Thompson is pissed off.

* An abortion doctor tried to kill Fred Thompson when he was still in the womb, but he cut off the man's hand with scalpel while shouting, "Do you know who I am? I'm Fred Thompson!"

* Webster's Dictionary defines "conservatism" as "how closely one's views resemble those of Fred Thompson."

* Fred Thompson's sense of strategy is so great that he can checkmate you using only a pawn and a knight.

* Fred Thompson can know both the exact position and momentum of a particle. Furthermore, he knows Schroedinger's cat is dead because he personally strangled it.

* The most efficient airline security is to have Fred Thompson stare down everyone entering a plane.

* When terrorists get to the afterlife, they'll find that none of their seventy-two women are still virgins. Why? Because of Fred Thompson.

* Fred Thompson can open clamshell packaging without the slightest trouble.

* In a butterfly ballot, no matter where you punch it the vote goes to Fred Thompson.

* Why does Iran want nuclear weapons? Out of fear of Fred Thompson.

* Some versions of the Bible have Mathew 5:5 read, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth... unless Fred Thompson wants it."

(Hat Tip The Corner)

Friday, March 16, 2007

As In Politics, So In Dating

A useful quote was on Bench Memos.
As the wise old saying goes, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And don't keep trying to salvage a failure with one hand when a promise of success lies in reach of the other.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mitt has been under serious attack

Mark Levin has links to a couple of blogs which defend Mitt's historical stances on issues. Mitt haters try to count him as nothing more than an opportunistic ego maniac looking for the next job promotion. They argue that Mitt will say whatever will get him elected and that he has no principles.

Levin seems open to Rudy, can't stand McCain, but seems very partial to Mitt. This is already getting very interesting. And election day is about 20.5 months away.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mitt Takes on a Religious Heclker.

There is going to be lots of this. I am glad Mitt is such a good speaker. He is one of the best prepared to respond to such bigotry. Video link here. (Hat tip NRO.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Now mITT begins in earnest

Excerpts from Mitt's official Presidential announcement:
The best ally for peace in the world is a strong America.

Our influence must once again match our generosity.

Some believe America's strength comes from government... I believe the American people are the source of America's strength.

We strengthen America by increasing freedom, by letting people keep more of what they earn, and improving education and innovation.

America can't continue to lead the family of nations if we fail the family at home. How do we strengthen the family? By putting marriage before children: every child deserves a mother AND a father.
Mitt is right on. This is a tremendous opportunity. This may prove to be a chance to prove Joseph Smith and Brigham Young right: If the constitution is to be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of Israel. The most important issue of our time is strengthening the family. Mitt is the only candidate who knows about and believes in the Family Proclamation. Following that document is more important than any petty party platform.

Update: Here is the full transcript.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rocky's Speech to his Son

Buy Rocky Balboa here:Rocky Balboa DVD or Rocky Balboa Blu-ray

This is one of my favorite movie speeches ever. The YouTube is here.
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

I found the text here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hillary is Running for President

This should be fun. While Mitt is my man, Hillary could really provide some great enjoyment as she blathers around the country trying to sell her socialist dream. Jim Geraghty has The Hillary Spot at NRO. This post has his commentary in italics from an excerpt of her announcement.
"So let's talk. Let's chat. Let's start a dialogue about your ideas and mine."

Let's not.

"Because the conversation in Washington has been just just a little one-sided lately, don't you think? And we can all see how well that works."

Oh, come on. There have been two sides in Washington - on one side, the corrupt pork-barrel-loving free-spending big government greedheads who want open borders and to use the public trough as a way to line their own pockets, and then on the other side, we've had the Democrats. I take it back, Senator Clinton is absolutely right. The conversation in Washington has been one-sided; it could use some actual conservatism.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Inconvenient Truths

Few things make my blood boil like global warming alarmists. Especially when I am freezing. The arrogance to think that puny humans can profoundly impact the overall temperature of the planet irks me greatly. Algore is the current ringleader of the global warming crusaders. A group here, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, responds to the claims made in Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

mITT's Official

Mitt Romney is running for president. On his website, he has an excellent quote:
America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home.