Archive for January, 2012

Technology Advancing Brutality

January 31, 2012

An article appeared in the news yesterday about an Afghan man wanted for strangling his wife to death.

Her mistake was bearing a daughter–instead of a son.

It seems he already had a daughter and threatened to kill her if she did not bear a son.

He kept his promise.

I’m glad there are women’s rights advocates who will not allow this story to die and will push to protect the weaker sex.

It’s just extremely frustrating that these same women are often the ones who turn the other way when Americans abort babies with Downs’s syndrome, or any other inconvenience their pregnancy may present.

As evil as this man is for what he did, the elephant in the room is a culture of death, just as heinous, allowing a person’s soul to be strangled by a similar self-serving decision.

God never promised us perfect children.

Helen Keller, by today’s standards, should not have been born; Stevie Wonder, Beethoven…no reason to survive; blind and deaf chromosomes respectively.

What He did promise, was that we’d have the privilege to bring them the Gospel.

That’s the greatest way we can prepare our families and hearts for eternity.

There’s one last thing.

The killer in Afghanistan is just one…there are millions more.

They just do it differently.

If you can, read this article from Wikipedia about the millions of girls each year killed before birth, identified through ultrasounds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-selective_abortion

If this is the best we can do, maybe it is time for the world to end.

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Human Dignity–Sometimes Punches

January 30, 2012

I often like to poke fun at Hollywood types, especially since they’re generally liberals.

It’s only fair, that when one does something right, I give proper recognition.

Last night we watched an Oprah special about bad-boy actor Sean Penn’s organization called JP/HRO.

His Haiti Relief Organization is not an act and it isn’t bad–it’s good.

There’s something about the loss of human dignity that often brings out the best in people.

No matter who they are.

I’m reminded of the Roman Officer whose favorite servant was dying.

In spite of him being the Centurion’s slave, he wanted Jesus to heal him, but still insisted that Christ send orders for healing and not bother traveling to his home.

Jesus was astounded by the man’s faith and understanding of His ability to delegate.

Recognition of human dignity, at every level, was important then and it’s important now.

In a strange way, Sean Penn, and others like him who travel as missionaries to poor countries, are an extension of God’s wish for us to share our blessings.

Some are well-known, others are nameless.

Each play a role.

We’re all judged at one point or another by how we give to the least.

Even if we have a reputation for punching the lights out of Paparazzi reporters, we can still do good things.

My sins are no less than Sean’s.

It’s just that they don’t sell tabloid newspapers.

Pray for Sean, and the many ministries who reach out to those trying to provide human dignity to the smallest of souls.

http://jphro.org/

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review

January 29, 2012

I didn’t know going in that this movie was about a boy with Asperger’s.

At first, I just found young Oskar to be an annoying itch.

Were it not for the tragedy he and his mother endured on 9/11, I might’ve wanted to duck out.

For some strange reason, the boy’s struggle grew on me.

That’s what happens to people who live with the handicapped.

They’re never as great a burden to their loved ones as they appear to be to those outside a family.

Eventually, as in all great movies, there comes a crossroad.

So as not to ruin the outcome, let me just say–thumbs up.

I asked my wife to ponder the message with me.

Together we agreed, it’s a lesson in finding truth in ways we may not necessarily want to find it.

Our plans are not always God’s.

His plans, though they may take us across difficult paths, are never wasted.

Thank you producers for making this movie.

Criticism of this production for dealing with the 9/11 tragedy so soon, would only be warranted, if it was distasteful.

The opposite is true.

Never once did they capitalize on TV footage from that day.

Nor did they dare the unthinkable by recreating visual scenes from inside the buildings.

A nervous chill went down my spine before it started, as I saw the preview to the pending 3D version of The Titanic.

Seeing that tragedy in 2D was enough for me.

Thankfully for us softies, Loud and Close dealt more with the aftermath struggles of a victim family than “the worst day,” as Oskar called it.

Go ahead and ride the swing readers.

It’s even OK for 10-11 year olds and up…as long as you’re there.

By God’s Grace, may we always be there for our children, even when they don’t know it.

Abortion Safer Than Birth?–Check Warning Label

January 28, 2012

For many years our family owned a wholesale distribution company that sold tobacco products of all kinds.

Around the mid to late 60’s, when morality became embarrassing for some, is when cigarettes lost their swagger.

Scapegoat…I’ll explain later.

I have no doubt they’re unhealthy.

That’s not my point.

What I do believe, since it’s a personal choice, is that folks using them do so at their own peril and never needed the government to slap warning labels everywhere.

Liberal researchers, seeking moral high ground–scapegoating–went on a rampage trying to uncover phony scientific propaganda, put out by Phillip Morris execs, the makers of Marlboros, which stated that nicotine and tobacco posed no health risk at all.

Where are those same liberal reporters today?

They’re slapping pro-abortion researchers on the back for putting out similar phony data, stating that a woman having an abortion is safer than a woman giving birth.

Death to life!

…such an invigorating slogan.

I guess it depends on your definition of the word “safe.”

If it means “safe” from a lifetime of guilt and regret–not so–ask any psychologist for a look at their case load and you’ll see I’m right.

The only argument that’s based in fact is that a woman is only “safer” economically.

Here are some facts:

No baby clothes to buy.

No nursery to decorate, or crib to acquire.

No trips to Disney World.

No stodgy looking mini-vans.

No Thanksgiving weekends with Grandma and Grandpa.

No soccer or Little League uniforms to wash.

No proms.

No High School graduations.

No college tuition to pay.

No weddings to finance.

No grandchildren to visit.

Look at all the ways a woman is “safer” economically.

Don’t you want to just say “thanks” to all those liberal media outlets for caring so much about your personal safety and well-being?

Wait…

There’s one more thing Jim.

Can abortionists stand “safely” before the wrath of an angry God?

I’m not sure…I didn’t see that one on the list.

Here’s some advice.

I like to call it my warning label.

[Killing Your Baby Could Be Hazardous to Their Health and a Dangerous Maneuver Regarding Your Soul]

How dangerous a maneuver?

You know–degree of difficulty?

Let’s just say–infinity–in a dark place…far from any gold medals, trophies or BMW’s.

One last fact: the blood of Christ is the only “safety-net” that can cover the blood of innocents.

God save us all.

PS: Moral decay–with its revolutions–made tobacco companies an easy mark–a scapegoat–to deflect God’s wrath from liberal humanistic behavior.  They still do it today, with scams like  Manmade Global Warming.  Save the baby seals–just don’t save the baby babies.  Here’s an idea–let’s get our species on the endangered list–that’ll really throw them off.

Pride and Prejudice Review–A Tolerable Chick Flick

January 27, 2012

Don’t get me wrong.

This movie was sprung on me last night by my daughter.

I’d never have thought twice to pick this up at a video rental store.

Yes, thank God, there’s still one left in Pittsfield called East St. Video on the corner of East and Lyman.

As a courtesy to Marisa, I offered to watch the beginning of the movie with her, believing I’d bow out after a half hour or so.

Not so…I couldn’t quit it.

This was a tale based on a 19th century novel of the same name by classic English author Jane Austen.

What struck me was the purity of behavior and rules which men and women lived under back then, yet–still, the chemistry of love and attraction was just as romantic–more actually.

Being an old-fashioned sort myself, I cannot help but recommend you watch this movie.

It’s especially appropriate I endorse this, considering my declared role as conservative writer.

If you’re looking for a love scene in the movie, there are dozens, just none with any touching involved–that’s if you don’t count the hands during the waltz.

You just have to see it to understand.

Even the final kiss at the closing scene dares, but never goes there.

It worked for me.

Personal note; I once fell smitten with a young woman I had no way of meeting, other than through her father, who often came to my father’s store to purchase boxes of baseball cards.

He worked at Pete’s Motors across the street.

One day I asked him if I had permission to go out with his daughter.

“I have no idea, you’ll have to ask her yourself” he said with a polite but puzzled look on his face and he gave me their home phone number.

She was not impressed.

I thought following the rules would help.

19th century tactics in the 1980’s weren’t that popular.

Congratulations to the producers of that movie and especially to actress Keira Knightley for your outstanding job as leading lady.

You were quite good.

The sexual revolution was in full swing way back then, as long as it involved a mother and father in an approved and blessed marriage.

Those were the days.

Lenny Skutnik vs. Warren Buffet’s Secretary–Thanks Rush

January 26, 2012

I take no credit for making this comparison.

I found this excellent point made today while reading Rush Limbaugh’s manuscript from his show yesterday.

He’s so right.

The very first State of the Union address, in which a public citizen was invited as a guest and introduced to the audience, was by Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Lenny Skutnik was lauded as a hero for jumping into the icy waters of the Potomac to rescue a female victim of a commercial plane crash.

As always, Reagan gave props to a true American hero and brought class to everything he did.

In President Obama’s State of the Union address, he invited Warren Buffet’s secretary, used her as a prop, and brought nothing but class warfare to an otherwise stately ceremonial speech.

How in the world does having her in the gallery as an invited guest, inspire us Mr. President?

What heroic thing did she do?

We’re not really that surprised by you anymore, just consistently appalled.

Other than using her as a tool to make same unproven comparison about her tax rate being lower than her boss, which is a clouding of the facts, income from stocks are always taxed at a different rate than wages, why is she there?

Thank you Rush for pointing out this deplorable game Obama is playing to get re-elected.

Please pray that God sends more heroes to rescue us from the icy waters of our frozen economy.

Tim Thomas and The Hockey Puck

January 25, 2012

This was supposed to be a good week for the President.

First was the annual visit from the Stanley Cup winners–The Boston Bruins.

That photo-op generally includes at least one potential voting citizen, except that the Bruins’ Goalie is a principled American conservative and the majority of the team is Canadian or European.

When MVP Tim Thomas chose not to go to the White House as an invited guest, it reminded anti-Obama Americans how much this President is distrusted.

Mr. Thomas has been highly criticized by left-leaning columnists, implying he’s not qualified to comment on politics.

It’s typical these same writers have no problem with Matt Damon lambasting Sarah Palin.

“Just play hockey” one of them said.

OK then, so why not tell Sean Penn to just spit into the movie cameras?

Hypocrisy epitomized–as usual.

Here’s a reminder to the Left–Debate is not hate.

A recent survey, conducted by US News and World Report Magazine, asked Americans–what scares you the most heading into 2012.

By a margin of 2-1, Americans declared they feared the re-election of Barrack Obama more than any other potential event.

One of my favorite comedians from the 60’s was Don Rickles.

He brought sarcastic banter to a new level.

He also redefined the term hockey puck.

If he called you one, it wasn’t a complement.

Tim Thomas is no Don Rickles, but he might be a fan.

He’s just a straight talking goalie who doesn’t want to get near his worst enemy–a hockey puck.

The other thing that didn’t go too well this week for the President was his State of the Union Speech.

The one company Obama pointed out during his address, which he said was doing well and at full capacity?–Master Lock.

No kidding.

With so many people out of work, drug dealers everywhere and the crime rate through the roof, everyone’s buying a second dead bolt for their door and we even have to lock up our newspaper delivery for fear it might be stolen before 7 am.

Thanks Tim for what you did.

You’re my hero two years in a row and probably are for millions of others.

Just be sure to go out and buy a good American made Master Lock to keep that MVP trophy safe.

And keep swatting away those pesky hockey pucks.

Cirque de Soleil Review–Loved It Ya Ya Ya

January 24, 2012

I am extremely fortunate to work for a generous company.

Once a year colleagues and I attend a rather rigorous trade show in Las Vegas, working long hours.

Each time we’ve gone, management has allowed us to attend a Vegas show.

The first year it was the Blue Man Group.

Last year it was Jersey Boys–There’s a review on file in this blog.

This year it was the Cirque de Soleil show called Beatles Love.

As a tribute to the Beatles music, they also began the story reminiscing in a rather dark but realistic fashion on the history of England through her 20th Century World Wars.

Soon after that, almost as if the 60’s were their modern renaissance, in some ways they were, the story and theme became brighter and more upbeat.

I can’t really explain what happens, it’s too abstract to put into words.

All I can say is, it wasn’t until the show ended that I realized I was watching a circus.

During the experience it seemed like an excellent dream.

If you’re in Las Vegas, save your money, avoid the gaming tables and go see this show.

It’s even OK to bring the kids of all ages.

No scary characters and plenty of on stage wonderment for the children to enjoy.

Our tickets were not cheap, in the high one hundreds, but, I promise you will be swept off your feet if you go.

Speaking of feet, the only people who shouldn’t go to this daring show are the parents of the beautiful girls dangling from ropes 50 feet off the ground, hanging on by nothing more than their feet.

Serious Beatles fans, like my college roommate Mark, would be in their glory hearing the songs interpreted in a way only Cirque de Soleil can do.

During set changes they also showed silhouettes of the Fab-4, while playing recorded conversations of their silly banter from 60’s and early 70’s recording sessions.

Great job CdS, you have an incredibly imaginative group of artistic directors and performers.

The hour and a half went by like two minutes and the bet we placed to choose this show paid off 100-1.

Mercy Rules in Patriots Win

January 23, 2012

Going into the AFC Championship game yesterday, the Patriots were heavy favorites.

To add to their confidence level, Safety Ed Reed from the Ravens criticized his quarterback, Joe Flacco, in a Sirius Radio interview.

During the season, the Ravens Defense was their strongest attribute and the Patriots Defense their weakest.

The QB’s of each team were also viewed on opposite ends of the spectrum, with Flacco being average and Brady well above…a.k.a. elite.

I know this sounds a bit selfish, but each week, during the NFL season, our Priest, at the end of Mass, as he’s giving the benediction, prays for the Patriots.

I don’t mind it, though some parishioners probably do.

This week, through no miracle at all, Tom Brady’s performance was absolutely pathetic.

He forced two interceptions and worst of all, one of them when his much maligned defense literally handed him the game with a Brandon Spikes interception at mid-field.

All Brady had to do was handoff the ball to his red-hot running back Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis to run out the clock and score once more and the game was as good as won.

When God is involved in something, many times we see His Mercy take over.

If you saw the game, you know it took another outstanding defensive play, this time by Sterling Moore, in the end zone to knock down the winning touchdown catch for the Ravens, only to be followed up by a missed field goal from point-blank.

FYI; The Definition of Mercy is not getting the punishment we do deserve.

The Patriots and especially Tom Brady, deserved to lose.

Fittingly, at the end of the game, when broadcaster Jim Nantz, tried to heap praise on Brady, Tom was honest enough to admit he played horribly and kind enough to throw praise back at the fans for being the 12th player on the field with their wild enthusiasm.

I hope you remember to Tebow in thanksgiving a few times this week Tom for the Mercy God showed you.

You were even the beneficiary of prayers from Western Massachusetts.

Now all you need to do is win one more game against the Prophet Eli.

Uh Oh…have you ever heard the Scripture that says “Pray without ceasing?”

Embracing the Center Aisle–Flying Southwest

January 22, 2012

This past week I had to fly from Nevada to Albany on Southwest Airlines.

My boarding pass was in the B’s.

If you fly, you know what that means–I was in the middle of the pack with regard to my seat choice…there are no assigned seats on SWA.

I told my flying partner and co-worker that I had a strategy to get a comfortable seat.

I was so right.

The worst seat possible is one where I sit next to another broad-shouldered or fat guy like me, where we battle over the armrest for thousands of miles.  Put me in between two similar guys like that and I almost get suicidal.

First off, in spite of being in the middle of the pack numerically, I was the last person on the plane.

I started talking to my son on the cell phone about his new house, in advance of the line-up announcement. 

Before I knew what hit me, they were paging my name.

No worries.

Here’s my strategy, it’s specifically designed to capitalize on the dreaded center seat.

There are dozens of them at the end of the boarding period.

The plan is to look for two of the thinnest women I can find, separated by a center aisle seat that’s open between them.

It worked like a charm–Row 3 and I was still the last passenger to board.

I had an Anne Hathaway look-alike to my right and a Skidmore girl to my left.

Too good to be true, right?

My co-worker said, on one of his trips to the restroom, he saw that I was out like a light, with both elbows hogging the armrests.

I don’t remember dreaming about Anne Hathaway or the Skidmore girl, but I’m pretty sure they were ruminating about how close they came to having an open middle seat between them.

I did my best to be polite and kind.

They reciprocated.

What’s my point today?

How to make the best of the worst.

Anyone can do it, you just need a plan.

Jesus said, the last shall be first for a reason.

He uses my strategy all the time, by giving us wisdom when it seems too late to make life better.

I love the Lord’s guidance and I love Southwest.