Of Courage and Valor


“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is my favorite movie of all time and, respectively, the books as well. They hold a deep well of symbolism that means far more to me than just the outward story they tell.

My favorite character is that of Boromir of Gondor. Boromir is part of the company that was chosen at the Elven city of Rivendell to accompany the hobbit Frodo on his quest to journey to the land of Mordor to destroy the ring of power. Before this fellowship is even selected however, Boromir displays his humanness, if you will, by attempting to claim the ring for himself, wishing to take it back to his capital city of Minas Tirith to use in the fight against the Dark Lord Sauron. Against his wishes, they decide instead to destroy the ring by taking it to Mordor to cast into the fires of Mount Doom where it was originally forged by Sauron. He decides to join the fellowship to safeguard the ring’s passage on their quest.

On the trip towards Mordor, Boromir is tempted on multiple occasions to take the ring from Frodo. He is drawn by its power and tempted to use its magic to save his people of Gondor. In a fit of rage, Boromir attempts to forcefully take the ring from Frodo as they are talking with one another in the forest. Frodo escapes and, from there, decides that he must proceed on his own with the ring to Mordor. He flees but is pursued by a band of Uruk-hai. Coming to his senses from the fit of rage he was in, Boromir recovers his senses and hurries to the aid of the hobbits as they are attacked by overwhelming numbers. In the midst of battle, he blows his horn of Gondor to summon his compatriots to his side. The man who cowered and whimpered while coming to his senses after trying to steal the ring now fought heroically to save the Hobbits from the Uruk-hai. In the end, Boromir summons strength to fight against great odds, shot twice with arrows but still fighting on. Finally, a third arrow brings him to the ground, no longer able to stand. He’s then saved from a quick death from a fourth arrow by Aragorn. He later dies in the arms of Aragorn, dying the death of a hero.

All this being said, Boromir’s character traits remind me of just how flawed I am. I’m human and, when I say that, it’s certainly not a compliment. It’s an acknowledgment of my innate flaws. Everyone has them from the so-called greatest of us to the very least. Some people’s flaws are easy to see while others struggle inwardly with nary a notice from anyone around them. One kind is not necessarily worse than another but, rest assured, everyone has an issue they deal with on a regular basis. Like Boromir, we all succeed or fail at our attempts in dealing with that issue to one degree or another. Not long before his life ended, he miserably failed. However, he found the strength to ultimately succeed. In such a way, God gives us each the opportunity to also ultimately triumph. Perhaps not in such a dramatic way as dying in combat against overwhelming odds but it’s a real battle we all face nonetheless.

Whatever it is we face, it’s always a question of finding the courage and valor to fight and overcome those obstacles. For many, we fight and overcome them only to be once again overtaken by them later. Then it’s a matter of getting back up and finding the courage to face them once again.

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Down with Warrantless Cell Phone Searches


Recent headlines have highlighted law enforcement’s recent push to be able to tap your home phone without a warrant. Fortunately, the Bush administration got a lot of bad press about this. Now they are coming for your cell phone as well.

Police are currently using a case out of California to push this agenda. A man by the name of Christian Taylor was arrested for identity fraud after attempting to buy approximately 30 Blackberry cell phones. A Sprint employee became suspicious about Taylor’s address and details about his company, Hype UniverCity. The employee called the police and Taylor was arrested. Taylor’s car was impounded and his iPhone was confiscated and searched by police without a warrant. A San Mateo county judge was scheduled to hear testimony yesterday about this case which may result in new rules for when police can search electronic devices for information without a warrant.

This brings up some interesting questions, one of which is what rules or guidelines can police follow for gathering information about us from cell phones, laptops, PDAs, and other electronic gadgets?

In my opinion, the police should no more have a right to search your cell phone or laptop without proper legal documents than they do to search your home. My laptop and/or cell phone is my cyber-residence, if you will, the place where I keep personal information similar to how I store paper documents at my physical residence. The police cannot come into my home and just rifle through my papers. Why do they and, unfortunately, the Obama administration want to skirt the law when it comes to similar personal information on my electronic devices? If warrantless searches of homes and tapping of land lines is wrong, it should be wrong for cell phones and other electronic devices as well. Period.

While we’re at it, let’s also finally dump the Patriot Act. It gives the government too much power and, as we’ve seen with the Bush and Obama administrations, it’s not always used for the purposes of simply protecting the people.

Debt Is His Business…And Business Is Good!


Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of your typical Washington D.C. politician? It can be a maddening exercise in futility. My advice is not to try it. You probably can’t relate. Anyway, try relating to this…

After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do. Like families across the country, we have to take responsibility for every dollar we spend.

The above quote was uttered by President Obama last week after he authorized the U.S. Treasury to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion. Of course, in typical fashion, he and his administration continue to blame the previous occupant of the White House. The time has come for Obama to end that nonsense and start taking responsibility for his own recklessness.

To put the numbers in perspective, consider the following from CNSNews.com:

To put Obama’s Olympian hypocrisy in perspective, one need only examine the federal budget tables posted on the White House website by Obama’s own Office of Management and Budget.

They reveal these startling facts: When calculated by the average annual percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that he will spend during his presidency, Obama is on track to become the biggest-spending president since 1930, the earliest year reported on the OMB’s historical chart of spending as a percentage of GDP. When calculated by the average annual percentage of GDP he will borrow during his presidency, Obama is on track to become the greatest debter president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Obama will outspend and out-borrow the admittedly profligate George W. Bush, a man Obama and his lieutenants routinely malign for fiscal recklessness and who, when in office, was often hailed even by his allies as a Big Government Republican. Obama will even outspend—but not quite out-borrow—his fellow welfare-state liberal FDR, who had to contend with both the Depression and World War II.

Read the rest of the article. The numbers aren’t good and aren’t likely to get any better throughout the rest of Obama’s term (notice I said “term”, as in singular).

We also continue to hear the mantra that the so-called stimulus package worked and that it has created or “saved” two million jobs. This, of course, is regardless of the fact that there were also millions of jobs LOST in the same time period. In other words, the jobs saved or lost malarkey doesn’t really mean anything other than to try to make a disastrous bill look like the proverbial pig with lipstick. Of course, most of that number they’re throwing around are government jobs. Go figure.

This Congress and President are spending us into utter oblivion and we weren’t far from there without their help. Do we want to end up like Greece or shall we just bury our heads in the sand and keep forking out the dough?

I like how the above quoted article closes…

“The bottom line on Obama: He puts our money where his mouth is.”

Rapture-Proofing Your Pets


Are you a Christian? Do you believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church? If so, have I got great news for you!

You, as a pre-trib, Holy Ghost-filled, rapture-believing Christian can put your worries about your pets behind you knowing that your beloved furry friends will be well taken care of should you be magically removed from this mortal coil by the coming in the clouds of our Lord.

Fortunately for you, atheist Bart Centre has concocted a plan to care for your beloved pet in the event that you are raptured outta here. His company, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets has a 100% guaranteed atheist associate who is willing and able to assist you when you leave this world behind.

The terms of their agreement are fairly simple. For an up-front fee of $100, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets will take care of your pet in the event that the rapture occurs within ten years of payment. Additional pets are $15 each and you also get a 25% discount to sign up again after the 10-year term expires.

Apparently, 100 people have already signed up for this important service. Centre splits the proceeds equally amongst his all-atheist work force. Of his employees, he says…

They have to be ready. We commit to reaching a person’s pet within 18 to 24 hours after the Rapture.

Unfortunately, services are not offered to states where a rescuer is not currently based in the same state.

All kidding aside, this is apparently an actual company. However, my question is since many atheists claim to be moral people, how can they, in good conscience, take money for a service they believe they will never have to provide? Centre provides that answer himself…

Being an atheist does not mean we lack morals or ethics. It just means we don’t believe in God or gods. All of our representatives are normal folks who love and live for their family, and are gainfully employed and have friends of varying beliefs…

Umm…Mr. Centre, if you had ethics you wouldn’t actually be taking people’s money in the first place.

A Small Step in the Right Direction


For anyone who’s followed this blog for any length of time, there hasn’t been much in the way of support for President Obama here. There’s a lot to criticize about what’s been going on in his administration since he took office last January and I intend to continue that where I believe it’s warranted. However, credit needs to be given when he takes a small step in the right direction.

Obama is backing an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to Southern Co. to build two nuclear power plants. This loan would apparently cover 70% of the costs associated with the project. The reactors would be built in Georgia, about 170 miles east of Atlanta. The two reactors, which could cost about $8.8 billion, could be in service by 2016 or 2017. The project would also generate about 3500 jobs and 800 high-paying jobs when finished.

More importantly, I hope this jump starts a movement to have more of these plants built. Contrary to popular belief, nuclear power is no longer anywhere near as risky as it used to be or, more accurately, as it has been perceived to be. Click here to read an article by University of Pittsburgh professor Bernard L. Cohen, Sc.D., about the risks associated with this form of power.

Now it could be said that President Obama is dangling this small carrot in front of the Republicans in Congress to make it a little easier to advance his agenda. That may be the case. However, I’ll take it if it means providing alternative sources of energy to all the foreign oil we are importing.

Now if we could just start tapping into the vast amounts of oil resources we already have and also make use of our world-leading supply of natural gas, then we will be getting somewhere.

Top Man-Mader: No Global Warming Since ’95


A few days ago, I posted about how the terminology of the man-maders has changed from “global warming” to climate change. I also noted how the temperatures have plateaued or even decreased over the last decade or so. Well, the headlines just keep trending in that direction.

Phil Jones, one of the academics at the center of the “Climategate” scandal, has admitted that there has been no significant global warming over the last 15 years. Here are a couple of excerpts from an article in MailOnline.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.

Jones’ admissions are considered to be significant because they are his first public acknowledgment that the science is indeed not settled as many man-maders would have you believe.

Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and blogger, had this to say to sum up Jones’ statements:

  • Neither the rate nor magnitude of recent warming is exceptional.
  • There was no significant warming from 1998-2009. According to the IPCC we should have seen a global temperature increase of at least 0.2°C per decade.
  • The IPCC models may have overestimated the climate sensitivity for greenhouse gases, underestimated natural variability, or both.
  • This also suggests that there is a systematic upward bias in the impacts estimates based on these models just from this factor alone.
  • The logic behind attribution of current warming to well-mixed man-made greenhouse gases is faulty.
  • The science is not settled, however unsettling that might be.
  • There is a tendency in the IPCC reports to leave out inconvenient findings, especially in the part(s) most likely to be read by policy makers.

For more in-depth discussion of this news, I recommend visiting  Michelle Malkin’s site.

Boy, it just seems like the man-maders’ house of cards is really getting ready to tumble at any moment.

Revisiting…SlamWow!


I don’t normally post on a Saturday but since I’ve seen the ShamWow! guy on TV more again recently, I thought I’d recycle an old post about him. Originally posted on April 8, 2009…

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When I saw this, I just knew I had to put this on my blog…I’ve made fun of this guy before, so I already knew he was a source of some really good humor.

If you don’t know who this guy is, his name is Vince Shlomi and he pushes a couple of products called the ShamWow and the Slap Chop.  He’s perhaps the most annoying personality on television commercials (I still don’t understand why he has to use a headset in those ads…).  By the way, if you click on the link to watch the Slap Chop video, get a load of what he says a little less than a minute into the video…”You’re gonna love my nuts.”

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Anyway, it appears that our favorite pitchman got himself into a bit of a pickle.  Apparently, Mr. Shlomi was arrested in February following a throwdown with a hooker in his South Beach hotel room.  According to the affidavit, Shlomi claims he paid this “lady” of the night $1000 for a few thrills after she “propositioned him for straight sex”.  He claims that when he kissed her, she “suddenly bit his tongue and would not let go”.  He then punched her several times until she released his tongue.  The hooker apparently suffered facial fractures and lacerations.  Mr. Shlomi also obtained a few facial improvements in the fracas (pictured below).

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After freeing his tongue, the bleeding Shlomi ran to the lobby where he called the police.  Officers responded and reported that both participants smelled strongly of alcohol.  No charges have been filed against either party at this time.

I have two questions about the altercation…

1 – Did Vince insist on wearing the headset while he was with the prostitute?

2 – Does this increase the value of the ShamWow or the Slap Chop and, if so, how much do you think an unnamed person could get for either item on eBay?  I’m just sayin’…You know, just curious…

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