Daily Wisdom

November 18, 2008

Obama: Just Being Proactive?


In a move which some say reflects his uncanny ability to anticipate the future, President-Elect Barack Obama has selected Gregory Craig to be his White House counsel. Craig is the well-known Washington lawyer who was tapped by Bill Clinton to defend him during the impeachment hearings. Craig also defended Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the UN, when the Oil-for-Food scandal was being investigated by the Volcker Commission.

"Now here's a guy who has a reputation for being able to defend corrupt, high-profile politicians", said an unnamed Obama insider who, for the purposes of this article, we shall refer to as 'David Axelrod', a fictional character. "And with a history like Obama's - coming out of Chicago politics, and all - Craig is somebody you want to have on your side," he continued.

With his innauguration still weeks away, critics argue that it's too early for Obama to be selecting his defense counsel. "He hasn't even moved into the White House yet, and he's already preparing for impeachment proceedings," said a conservative blogger who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. "It's another example of Obama's presumptuousness." [Editor's Note: Barack Obama was widely criticized by Republicans, including the McCain-Palin ticket, for "measuring the drapes in the White House" before the election had even taken place.]

Many on the Left however think that Craig is a good choice. At the Daily Kos, commenter i-b-lib said, "I like this Craig guy. He defended John Hinckley, Jr and copped an insanity defense for him. You remember, the dude who almost killed Ronald Reagan? Too bad Hinckley screwed up and didn't get the neo-con [expletive deleted]."

Another Left-Wing blogger reminds us that Craig is currently defending Pedro Gonzalez Pinzon - a Panamanian legislator wanted for murdering an American soldier in 1992. Left-tard at DrinkTheKoolaid.com says, "Screw the imperialist storm-troopers! Viva Pinzon! Viva Gregory Craig!"

'David Axelrod' went on to say that Craig is a good choice for another reason - he has an ideological affinity for socialist dictators. "Craig you may recall, represented the father of Elian Gonzalez who demanded the return of his son after his estranged wife died trying to bring Elian to the U.S. from Cuba. We know that Fidel Castro was behind the whole incident, but... C'mon, he was just trying to embarrass the United States. Heck, WE did that during the campaign. Obama LOVES Fidel, and oh yeah... Hugo Chavez too!"

"Whatever else you might think about Obama, you've got to admit that he plans ahead," said Chris 'Tingly-Leg' Matthews (D-MSNBC). But according to the neo-con [expletive deleted]s, there are any number of lawsuits already pending against Obama. For example, there are several suits in which it is alleged that Barack Obama might not even meet the constitutional requirements to take the oath of office. If any one of those cases reaches the High Court, Obama might in fact need a good lawyer - and Gregory Craig, who is an American, just might fit the bill.


November 11, 2008

Veterans Day - 2008

Remember our Vets...

November 07, 2008

Obama: Ordained By God?

As a Christian, I have been contemplating for some time now certain scripture passages as they relate to the American electoral system. Romans 13 tells us...

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. --Romans 13:1-2

Now, one can feel confident that God has instituted the "governing authorities" when a righteous, God-fearing person is at the helm, but it is much harder to do so when an evil (or perhaps even a merely 'sleazy') person is in control. Does God actually "institute" governments of wicked people? It seems contradictory to His nature and a frightening possibility to imagine. I thought perhaps there might be some subtle meaning of the word 'institute' that I had not grasped, but when I looked at the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word 'institute' literally means:

1: to establish in a position or office
2a: to originate and get established; organize
2b: to set going; inaugurate

Thus, it would appear then that there can be no question as to the meaning of this scripture passage. God it would seem, "establishes" or "organizes" or "inaugurates" ALL governing authorities -- even those that may be wicked. "For there is no authority except FROM GOD". But for what purpose would God institute a wicked government? Does this mean then that God approves of wickedness? Hardly. We can get a sense of why God institutes human governments from the next few verses of Romans 13...

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. --Romans 13:3-4

The primary purpose of government then, according to this passage, is to maintain civil order. Human governments have been "instituted" by God in order to enforce justice by executing "wrath on the wrongdoer". Governments are necessary in order to insure "good conduct" among the populace. The assumption then, is that governments operate according to a set of laws designed to prevent humans from descending into a state of total chaos and anarchy or unrestrained crime. God does NOT institute governments for the purpose of terrorizing or subjugating the populace.

And while I have not done any research on the subject, it occurs to me that most human governments that have arisen in history were not "wicked" at the start. Most often I think, governments were established initially for the perceived "good" of the governed. That power corrupts is clearly obvious, and there are plenty of examples where rulers and governments BECAME wicked -- sometimes very quickly. If you can think of a government that was initially founded for the purpose of being wicked, please enlighten me.

This would be especially true of our American government. While imperfect, our government was established by Christians, for Christians. It was founded on Judeo-Christian principles for the good of those governed. It has been better than many others that have come and gone, before and after it. That it may now be changing into something else is another story.

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged she asked him directly: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it". History has shown us that it is a difficult task to maintain a republic, and it will be further threatened in the coming months and years.

Barack Obama and many of those on the Left dislike what our Founding Fathers created. Hence, their emphasis on the need for "change". They do not like that our Framers established a government which provides opportunity for the "pursuit" of happiness, they want a government which "provides" happiness. They do not want a country where all are equal in the eyes of God, but where all are equal in terms of income. Hence, their emphasis on the need for "sharing the wealth".

Some have asked whether the election of Obama means that God has "ordained" his presidency. They look at passages like Romans 13:1-2 and ask whether or not God has "instituted" him as the "governing authority". Nothing could be further from the truth. Barack Obama was elected by the American people through a "popular vote". And let's not quibble about the Electoral College. The "electors" merely reflect the will of the people in their particular state (in theory anyway). So let's not confuse "the will of the people" with "the will of God".

But this begs the question then, is God still in control if humans elect whom they wish? Of course He is. God can use any human or any government to accomplish His purposes, and He does so regularly. I am reminded of the Biblical prophecies about the Antichrist who will rise to power at the end of the age.

God will not "ordain" the Antichrist, his government or his wickedness, but He will use them to accomplish His own ends. God will use the Antichrist to divide the people of earth into two camps -- those who are for God, and those who are against God. Some will "elect" to follow the Antichrist, and some will "elect" to follow God. It is the people themselves who will make the choice. And their choice will make it that much easier for God to pour out His unbridled wrath on those who choose wickedness. In the book of Revelation, the Antichrist is referred to as the "beast"...

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea... --Revelation 13:1a

The "sea" here represents humanity. The book of Revelation uses water repeatedly to symbolize many people. Large masses of people are represented as a "sea", a "river" and a "flood", among others. If the waters are calm "like glass", it represents a tranquil humanity. If the seas are stormy, it represents humanity in turmoil.

Thus, the image here is one of the Antichrist rising out of the sea of humanity. He rides in on a "wave" of popularity (pun intended) the way Barack Obama did. Now don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting that Barack Obama is the Antichrist of Biblical prophecy. Nevertheless, Obama may be a foreshadowing or 'type' of antichrist...

Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come... --1John 2:18a

Barack Obama rose from almost total obscurity to the presidency in a matter of a few short years. Louis Farrakhan has referred to him as the "messiah". Others have spoken of him the same way, even if they did not use that particular word. If Obama is a "messiah", then he can only be a false messiah, because we know that the true Messiah -- Jesus Christ -- will return "on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory".

God confronts us with choices routinely. On a personal level, He confronts us with choices about sinfulness or righteousness. For my part, I have made many bad choices. I can only ask God to forgive me, and try to do better. On a national level, God confronts us with choices as well. In this last election we had a clear choice...

On the one hand, we had a true American hero who was pro-life and pro-family; married to a woman who gave freely of her time to many good causes; alongside a running mate who was a small-town, God-fearing Christian and hockey-mom. On the other hand, we had a slick, lying community organizer who favored abortion, infanticide, and same-sex unions; married to a woman who was "never proud" of her country during her entire adult life; alongside a dopey running mate who was a gaffe-machine, and who wanted to partition Iraq into 3 separate countries.

I am reminded of the line from the movie 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' -- "You have chosen...poorly!"

November 06, 2008

Global Warming News - October 2008

Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics

Florida Sets Low-Temp Records for October:
A reading of 38F at Lakeland's Linder Airport on Wednesday, October 29th, was the coldest ever recorded in Polk County in October and marked the first time that the mercury has dropped into the 30s during October. The previous record for the month was 42F set on October 21st, 1989. Wednesday's reading easily shattered the record for October 29th, which had been 48F set in 1957. It was the first time temperatures in Lakeland have dropped into the 30s since a reading of 35F on February 28th.

Lakeland's Linder Airport

Meteorologist John McMichael of the National Weather Service said the cold front that pushed through Florida on Tuesday resulted in record low temperatures throughout the state. A reading of 42 degrees in Tampa broke the record for the date at 44F, which had stood since 1910. A 47F in Fort Myers also broke a record that had stood since 1910, and a 44F in Sarasota broke the record for the date, which had been at 48F recorded in 1977. In Orlando, a reading of 43F broke the record of 47F, which had been set in 1952; and 44F in Melbourne broke the mark of 51F, which was set in 1952; and a reading of 46F in Vero Beach broke the mark of 48F, which had been set in 1943.

Frost Worries Grape Growers:
In California, a record cold snap in Mendocino County over the same weekend caused little damage to wine grapes but chilled the hearts of farmers who already have suffered huge losses this year. "It's just one more thing on top of one more thing. You kind of hold your breath," said Potter Valley wine grape grower Bill Pauli.

Temperatures dropped to 31F in the Ukiah Valley on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the coldest October 12th morning since record keeping began in Ukiah in 1893, said Troy Nicolini, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Eureka. The previous record was 34F in 1916. Temperatures were milder in Sonoma County, and there were no reports of frost-related problems, county officials said. Farmers in Redwood Valley and other cooler regions in Mendocino County reported temperatures as low as 27F.

An estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of that county's wine grape crop had yet to be harvested when the frost hit, killing the tops of unprotected vines and effectively freezing the ripening process. Most unprotected wine grape crops already had adequate sugar content, so they were unharmed, said Mendocino County Agricultural Commissioner Dave Bengston.

Farmers either sprayed water or turned on wind machines for crops that were not quite ready to harvest, said Redwood Valley farmer Peter Johnson. Mendocino County wine-grape growers were fearful because they already had lost an estimated 30 percent of their crop to frost in the early spring. "It'll be nice to get this one put in the barn and put behind us," Pauli said. Despite the conditions, Mendocino County's wine-grape crop is looking good, said Paige Poulos, president of the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission. "We had wonderful fruit, just not enough of it," she said.

October In Anchorage 8th Coldest:
The Jueau Empire reports that it was a cold October in Anchorage. The National Weather Services said October was the eighth coldest October in the past 90 years - since records have been kept. The average temperature was only 29.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest October on record was in 1996, when the average temperature was 25.5 degrees. The Weather Service said this October also was one of the snowiest on record. Snowfall for the month was 13.1 inches. That's 5.1 inches above normal.

Alaska Glaciers Grew This Year:
Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008. Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August. "In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound," said U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying, located at about 1,500 feet elevation, did not become snow free until early August.

In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years. --Bruce Molnia

Alaskan Glacier

Never before in the history of a research project dating back to 1946 had the Juneau Icefield witnessed the kind of snow buildup that came this year. It was similar on a lot of other glaciers too. "It's been a long time on most glaciers where they've actually had positive mass balance," Molnia said. That's the way a scientist says the glaciers got thicker in the middle.

Read more HERE.

Pendleton Breaks 118-Year-Old Record:
The East Oregonian on Monday, October 13th reported that cold temperatures set several new record lows over the previous weekend, including a low of 22F Saturday in downtown Pendleton that broke a 118 year-old record of 24F.

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Record lows started falling Thursday with a new low of 20F for Meacham, four degrees cooler than the previous record from 2006, according to information from the Web site for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Pendleton. Heppner and Long Creek then set new low temperatures on Friday. Heppner hit 29F, the coldest that date has seen since 1960 when it was 30F; and Long Creek was 21F, besting the 1987 record by four degrees.

Saturday set multiple new lows, including the record 22F in downtown Pendleton. John Day dropped to 21F, breaking the 1990 record of 23F; Meacham's 15F broke the previous low of 20 from 2002; and Mitchell set a record with 21F, five degrees cooler than the 2002 record. Additionally, the top of Airport Hill in Pendleton set a new low of 25F; the previous record was 33F. And the agricultural experimental station north of Pendleton recorded a low of 18F, five degrees cooler than the previous record from 1990.

The cold continued to set records Sunday. Meacham, for the third time in four days, set a record with a low of 15F, one degree cooler than the 2002 record. Long Creek and Mitchell again set new records as well Long Creek's low of 21F broke the 1969 record of 25F, and Mitchell's 21F broke the 1949 record of 24F. The top of Airport Hill in Pendleton also set another record with 24F; the previous record was 28F from 2002. And downtown Pendleton's 21F chilled past the previous record of 25F from 1931. Also on Sunday, two-miles north of Hermiston cooled to 18F, breaking the 1953 record of 20F.

Northeast Snowstorm Leaves Thousands In Dark:
According to the Boston Globe, snow again fell on October 29th in parts of the Northeast as utility crews labored to restore service to thousands of customers blacked out by the region's first big snowstorm of the season. The wet snow that began falling on Tuesday, October 28th, collected on trees still covered with leaves, and its weight combined with gusty winds to send limbs crashing onto power lines. The National Weather Service reported storm totals of about 14 inches at northern New Jersey's High Point State Park, as much as 15 inches along the northwestern edge of New York's Catskill Mountains, and a foot in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.

Snow in Westerlo, NY - Oct 28.

More wind-blown snow swept through northern Vermont Wednesday. A lake effect snow warning was in effect for northwestern Pennsylvania, with accumulations of up to 12 inches possible at higher elevations, as wind picked up moisture from Lake Erie. Radar showed new snowfall Wednesday in parts of upstate New York. More than 40,000 customers remained without power Wednesday in upstate New York, most of them in the Mohawk Valley, Adirondacks, and the Catskills, according to utilities National Grid and New York State Electric & Gas. Crews in New Jersey worked to restore power to more than 41,000 customers, mainly in the northern part of the state.

Cold A Factor In 2 Maryland Deaths:
Maryland Sun reporter Frank Roylance says, it's only October, and already state health officials are reporting two deaths in Maryland where cold weather was found to be a factor. It's fair warning that we need to be paying attention to folks in our community who may be especially vulnerable to the cold - especially our elderly neighbors and relatives, and those coping with chronic illnesses. Last year cold weather was found to be a contributing factor in 38 deaths in Maryland.

The first case involved a 54-year-old Prince George's County man who was involved in a single-vehicle collision on September 20th. The vehicle ran off the road and he was not found until a day later. Temperatures that night dipped to 49F at BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport). It was the coldest night of the month. The man died on October 18th, and the contributing factors included pneumonia, multiple injuries and hypothermia, according to the DHMH (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene).

The second case is more typical. It involved an 84-year-old Anne Arundel County man. He was found outside his home on October 19th in temperatures below 45 degrees, according to health officials. The low at BWI on that date was 36F, the coldest morning of the year up to that date. The medical examiner's report said the man had a history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, commonly a factor on cold-related deaths.

For the record, it was 29F on the morning of October 31st, out on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville. The mercury at 'The Sun' only dropped to 40 degrees. BWI Marshall saw a low of 31F. That's 8 degrees below the long-term average for that date.

Dublin Hit By Worst Cold Snap Since 1948:
According to Ireland's 'Independent', people living in the east of the country shivered through one of the coldest Octobers in 15 years while Dublin broke a 60-year record on Tuesday, October 28th, recording the coldest day of the month since 1948, Met Eireann announced. Tuesday's icy blast, with exceptionally cold Arctic winds blowing off the Irish Sea, smashed a 60-year record when temperatures at Dublin Airport dipped to a bone-chilling -1.3 C.

Across the country, mean temperatures averaged about one degree colder for the entire month although the mercury dramatically plunged the last week of the month with unseasonal snowstorms and lashings of sleet and hail in the north and on high ground. The number of times people woke up to ground frost during the month was twice the normal average, with between 12 and 16 ground frosts recorded in some inland areas and severe ground frost in places. But everywhere felt the pain, with both day and nighttime temperatures between six and eight degrees below normal.

Blizzards In Ireland, Coldest Since 1934:
The Belfast Telegraph says that snowfall and plummeting temperatures have brought the coldest October temperatures to Northern Ireland since 1934. Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down and Tyrone were among the worst hit areas on Wednesday, October 29th, with falling snow making untreated roads close to impassable.

These are the lowest (October) daytime high temperatures since 1934. --Met Office Spokeswoman

Temperature highs usually make double figures at this time of the year. However, "gritters" (sanding trucks) have covered thousands of kilometres of road battling the unseasonable conditions. Colin Brown from Northern Ireland's Roads Service said they had 120 gritters out which covered 7,000kms of road in three hours. He appealed for people to take precautions when using the roads.

Glenshane Pass blizzard - Oct 29.

The Glenshane Pass was one of the worst hit areas. Conditions were at their worst near Dungiven where a number of cars were stranded. Police were also warning of treacherous conditions on roads in Armagh and Tyrone. The police advised motorists to avoid travelling on roads where conditions had deteriorated. P&O ferries assured the public that Irish Sea services remained unaffected by the widespread freeze but that it would keep a close eye on developing weather fronts.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for heavy snow the night before and recommended that people be prepared for the worst. A spokesman for the office said the maximum temperature for the day was a mere 5.1C which is four degrees lower than the expected mean temperature for the month. She said: “We would advise the public to take extra care especially on untreated roads.”

The Republic's extreme weather conditions resulted in hazardous driving conditions in parts of the east, north-east and midlands. Co Wicklow was one of the worst affected areas with ice and heavy snowfall reported on high ground. Gardai closed the Sally Gap after a bus got stuck in heavy snow earlier in the morning.

Coldest Brisbane Morning In 32 Years:
According to the Courier Mail, cold southerly winds blowing up from the snow-capped Blue Mountains gave Brisbane its coldest October 23rd morning in 32 years. The mercury fell to 10.6C in the City just before 5am, more than five degrees below average for that time of year. The previous lowest temp for October was 7.3 degrees in 1976, although Brisbane also recorded 6.3 degrees in October in 1899 at a now-disused weather station.

Amberley had an even colder start waking up to 6C and Stanthorpe shivered on just two degrees. But senior forecaster Vikash Prasad said Stanthorpe's previous coldest October day was -2C in 1966. "It's certainly our coldest day since winter. The lowest temperature in September was 11C so it is unusual for Spring," Mr Prasad said.

He said the trough that caused the storms had moved off the coast and was being replaced by dry air and southerly winds coming up from interstate. "There was snow on the Blue Mountains yesterday which is very unusual for this time of year and Sydney had a very cold day," Mr Prasad said. Temperatures would remain cool today across south-east Queensland with Brisbane expecting a top of 22 degrees.

November 01, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

Hat-tip to "Angus-the-Scot"...