Saturday, October 30, 2004

THE BEGINNING OF THE END. We went to see the band march last night. Yes, I know most people say they went to the high school football game. I can't help them anymore.

It was poignant. It was the last game the Baby will direct as drum major, for the last game of the season is just an introduction of the seniors. I announced the band from the pressbox, then ran out into the open where I could yell "Go Claire". I wanted to add "one last time", but I didn't.

I may today. We are going to an invitational marching contest, which will truly be the last show. All things must pass.

Life is full of "last times", I warn you if you don't know. This is especially true if you have children. But, it is also true if you have family at all, or even friends. Sometimes you do not see it coming. It dawns on you only as it unfolds before your eyes and you think or say "Oh no, this is the last time..."

Sometimes, like last night, you know it is coming and you try to prepare. This is important if it involves your child, for the child never feels it with the same intensity. If you show it, it distresses them. So you smile and keep going. But, on the inside, your mind is screaming to you "THIS IS THE LAST TIME, THIS IS THE LAST TIME".

Even that screaming is better than what comes next, which is the whisper that says what you do not want to hear, and that is "what I am going to do without it?"

Friday, October 29, 2004

RESPECTING WICCA IN WASHINGTON. In Puyallup, Washington, the school district now forbids coming to school in Halloween costumes. Has Washington been taken over by Christian Fundamentalists? Hardly. The District says ugly witch costumes are insensitive to practicing Wiccans. Karen Hanson, spokes person for the sensitive district, said: We work really hard to teach our students to be respectful of traditions and cultures that are held by people other than themselves. The Wiccan religion is one of those religions." No one knows if there are any Wiccans in Puyallup. They found one in Tacoma. She thinks the District should let the kids celebrate Halloween.

I think the District did the right thing for the wrong reason.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. John Owen said "To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have the power of ourselves to do is to make the cross and grace of jesus Christ of no effect." John the Apostle said "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children ofGod, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:18-19) Paul, the Apostle, said "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift ofGod." (Ephesians 2:8)

Monday, October 25, 2004

RUN GEORGE RUN. With a week to go, the Presidential race is still close. There are only about 4% of the voters undecided.

CNN Sunday showed Bush ahead 51-46 percent. Nader is hanging in there at 1% and seems unembarrassed by it.

Zogby calls it closer with Bush ahead 48-46 perdent.

There are ten battleground states. Bush is ahead in Florida and Ohio, which may be enough since they together have 68 electoral votes. Bush is also ahead in New Mexico.

Kerry is ahead in Michigan.

The rest of the states show small leads within the statistical margin of error, making them really too close to call. Of these, Kerry appears ahead in Colorado and Minnesota, with the President ahead in Iowa, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

Kerry is feeling the heat. He has gotten Bill Clinton out of bed to campaign for him. Oh wait, Bill always is getting out of bed, isn't he. No word on whether Monica Lewinsky has been invited. Or Gennifer Flowers. Or, well you get the idea.

Friday, October 22, 2004

KERRY'S IRANGATE. While you were easing into your work week on Monday,Mr. Hassan Nemazee, was having his deposition taken. Mr. Memazee admitted he had raised over $500,000 for the John Kerry Kampaign. Why, you ask, should you care, other than to be impressed with his fund raising skills? The reason you should care is that Mr. Nemazee is an Iranian-American. He is not one of those Iranian Americans who thinks his homeland is messed up and is glad to be here where it is different. He is one of those Iranians who believe the homeland is doing a good thing and is working to get America to cease its opposition of Iran’s plans in the Middle East.

You know, plans like making nuclear bombs to blow Israel off the map.

Iran also supports terrorism around the world. The 9-11 Commission describes Iran’s assistance to Al-Qaeda. Iran sends insurgents across the border into Iraq to cause instability and kill American troops. And John Kerry is in bed with them.

John Kerry, right on national television, in the debates, stated his position that the United States should supply Iran with nuclear fuel. He said: I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes.

Of course, Iran has rejected all attempts to limit or inspect their nuclear program. As usual, the United Nations has done nothing about it.

Interestingly, Mr. Nemazee, in his deposition, stated that the Iranian Islamic regime cannot be trusted but to have any intention other than to build nuclear weapons. He agreed that the current Iranian government is a terror-exporting regime.

Remember Bill Clinton traded missile technology for campaign funds? We called in “Chinagate”. I guess this is "Irangate".

The mainstream media have completely ignored the issue. I cannot overstate my revulsion for ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, who have refused to print any story questioning Kerry so they can sway the election, having even admitted their bias.

By the way, Mr. Nemazee was deposed because he sued Iranian freedom advocate, Aryo Pirouznia, who heads up the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.
Remember that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told his scientists "We must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims."

Iran has already developed a satellite-launching rocket with a range of 2,000 kilometers. That reaches Israel. Iran's nuclear power plant at Bushehr is completed. It just needs nuclear fuel to be operational.

Mr. Kerry is either a fool, or an enemy of Israel. Maybe he is both. Either way, he is willing to trade the security of our ally, Israel, the security of this country, and maybe the world, for $500,000 in campaign contributions.

TEENAGERS FOR BUSH. Nearly 1.4 million teens voted in the nation's largest mock election. They gave President Bush 393 electoral votes and 55 percent of the votes.

Their most important issues, according to an exit poll: (1) 44 percent said that the war in Iraq was the most important issue, so they obviously favor the President's handling of the war; (2) the economy was the first priority for 22 percent; (3) education by 14 percent; (4) national security by 12 percent of those voting; and (5) 8 percent said health care was the most important issue.

It is telling that those who are so close to the age of military service find the war the most important issue, and support the war. The same holds true for those currently serving. 70 percent of those serving in Iraq support the effort and the President.

Somebody tell John Kerry the '60s are over.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Stress Management. From Avoiding Evil:

Picture yourself near a stream.
Birds chirping in the cool, crisp mountain air.
Nothing can bother you here.
No one knows this secret place.
You are in total seclusion from that place called the "world".
The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
The water is so clear that you can easily make out the face of the person whose head you are holding under the water.

There now...Feeling better?

He calls it stress management. I call it behavior modification.
GROWING CHURCHES. Today I was perusing "The Hearbeat", the newsletter of Central Baptist Church of Clovis, New Mexico. Why, you ask, would I do that? Well, their pastor of adults and families is Mike Eberhardt, who, with his wife Robin, used to be members of my sunday school class, Koinonia. Mike was in Cowtown to get yet another seminary degree and move into a new phase of ministry. He has previously been a missionary and pastor. Also, it is interesting to see how other Baptist churches are doing and to compare them to the church I attend.

Mike's senior pastor has a column and, in this issue, he spoke of completing a survey for a graduate student at Southern Seminary. Along the way, he picked up some facts and related them in the column. Here they are.

There are about 42,000 Southern Baptist Churches. Guess how many have a weekly worship attendance of at least 200 and have experienced a growth rate of 5% or more in worship attendance for 3 consecutive years? Only 416, or roughly 1%, have experienced consistent 5% growth.

That is not very many growing churches. What makes a church grow? Mike's pastor says it is because the members invite people. That is certainly part of it. You have to have new people come in order to grow. The second part of it is, you have to keep the people that come. If as many people are going out the back door as come in the front, you will not grow.

What makes people stay in a church? One part is the congregation. The congregation must be friendly and welcoming and make the new person part of the fellowship. The second part is the preaching and teaching. The new person must feel they are edified by the preaching and teaching or, ultimately, they will quit coming, no matter how friendly the congregation is. The two go hand in hand.

Keep up the good work, Mike and Central Baptist Church.

KERRY'S END? I hope this picture is prophetic.

Monday, October 18, 2004


"Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise,
Our Priest is in his holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace."
MONDAY MONDAY, SO GOOD TO ME. Three out of four polls show the President leading Mr. Kerry. Gallup shows President Bush leading with 52%, Kerry with 44%, and Nader with 1%. Way to hang in there Ralph. (You know, if was really sharp, he'd tour the country in a vintage Corvair to campaign. You have to be about 50 to understand that joke unless you are a real student of history.)

Newsweek (yes that magazine that said they would swing the election to Kerry) shows the President with 50% of likely voters to Kerry's 44%. No word on where the other 6% went.

ABC shows the Preident leading 50% to 46%. Isn't it interesting how close these polls are to each other in results? In contrast, Zogby shows the candidates deadlocked at 45%.

In Florida, a state up for grabs, the Latino Coalition shows that Florida's Hispanic voters prefer the President 63% to 29%.

Friday, October 15, 2004

ELECTORAL COLLEGE TRACKING. This is an interesting site tracking the likely outcome of the electoral vote.


3300 Iraqi schools have been renovated since the overthrow of Saddam. In fact, 85 percent of Iraqi primary and secondary schools have reopened since Saddam was removed. 25% more Iraqi children receive innoculations than during Saddam's reign.

We have have printed and distributed 9 million new math and scient textbooks.with no pro-Saddam propaganda, distributed 159,000 student desks to Iraqi schools, distributed 81,735
teaching kits to Iraqi primary school teachers.

What do the Iraqis think? 71% said they expected their lives to be even better in a year. 76,000 new jobs have been created by the Iraqi National Employment Program.

There are now 600 judges working in Iraqi courts. 170 newspapers are currently published.

Coalition forces have refurbished 70 mosques and 75 medical facilities.

The current budget for the Iraqi Ministry of Health is 25 times greater than under Saddam's reign.

700,000 pregnant Iraqi women received a tetanus vaccination to improve their pre-natal healthcare.

Iraq has increased oil production by 500,000 barrels per day.

There has been a 40 percent increase in the availability of electricity compared to the time under Saddam. 20 million Iraqis (out of the 27 million) get clean water due to new water and sanitation projects. There has been a 20 percent increase in subscriptions to telephone service since Saddam's departure.

The fact is, life is better in Iraq and the world is safer with Saddam gone. Whether the world wants to admit it or not.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

TEHRAN JOHN. Lots of folks were surprised when Senator Kerry called for the United States to provide nuclear fuel to Iran. It has now been revealed that several Iranians in the pro-Iranian lobby have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Kerry Kampaign.

Does this make you feel more or less safe? The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for the development of nuclear weapons in the next few months. He told his weapons developers to have 2 bombs ready by January or they could not be Muslims. In addition, Iran has threatened to back out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Why does Iran want nuclear bombs? Khomenei explains it this way: to "destroy the Zionist regime". That means Israel, if you are not schooled in the language of the Religion of Peace.

So, let's sum up. The guy that wants to be president wants to give nuclear weapons to the sworn enemy of our ally with the express intention that they be used to destroy our ally.

Will Kerry still get the Jewish vote because he is a Democrat?

Who will they blame when the bombs fall on Jerusalem?
I KNEW IT! Martha Stewart is shopping the book idea. I previously wrote that Martha could turn her prison stay into a retirement fund by writing a book while in the slam. Now it appears her agents are quietly shopping the idea of a "prison diary" to publishers. Estimates go to $5 million for the purchase price. Do you think she read my blog? She really is a money making machine, isn't she.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

MISCELLANEOUS STUFF. "I'm a liberal, and proud of it" said John Kerry in 1991.

Americans For Democratic Action, a leftist group, gives Mr. Kerry a rating of 92%, two points more liberal than Ted "I Seem To Have Lost My Date In The River" Kennedy.

John Kerry still has not released his military records.

The document Mr. Kerry exhibits as his honorable discharge says it came after a review by a board of officers. Why did it take a board of officers? The normal discharge does not require this.

The authority of reference for this board was Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1162 and 1163, which references the grounds for involuntary separation. Did the Navy separate Mr. Kerry from service involuntarily?

Mr. Kerry's discharge is dated February 16, 1978. But he went into the Navy in 1966 for a six year commitment. That means his discharge should have been in 1972. What happened to delay it until 1978? He was already out and leading Vietnam Veterans Against The War long before then. In fact, Mr. Kerry met the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegation to the Paris Peace talks in May 1970 (during the War!).

Mr. Kerry demonstrated against the war in July 1971 in D.C. He wanted Congress to accept North Vietnam's peace proposal without change.

So, what happened in 1978? The board of officers review says it was held at the direction of the President. Who was president then? It was Jimmy Carter. Yes the same Jimmy Carter that travels around the world blaming every crisis on America. It is also the same President Carter that granted amnesty for draft dodgers in the first hour of his presidency.

In March 1977, the Department of Defense expanded the order to include those who had general, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharges. To get your record clean, though, you had to have a review before a board of officers.

Did I mention that Mr. Kerry has refused to release all his military records?

Oh, and just in case you wanted a "misstatement" for the record, his spokesmen said all his records were posted on his web site. The Washington Post, which supports Kerry, says that the Navy says they had about 100 pages of Kerry's record he had not released. That is a lot of pages. It is even enough to be the transcript or record of a board of review.

Did anyone else help Kerry clean up his record? Well, he got his medals reissued a few months after being elected to the Senate.

I think it would make a great first question in the debate. Or a good first answer?
THE REST OF THE STORY. As the last debate looms, the papers today are saying the candidates are in a "statistical dead heat". That is not the whole story, though. Remember that this is not about the popular vote only. The election is decided by the electoral college. The states you carry are important. So, how is the electoral vote shaping up.

President Bush has 21 states firmly in hand for 176 electoral votes. Senator Kerry has 10 for 153 votes. Its too bad it is not done by the number of states. But Kerry has California and New York which have a disportionate share of the vote. (This, by the way, is why we have the Electoral College: to protect the vote of the less populated states. If popular vote determined, New York City and Los Angeles would pick the President and God help us.)

President Bush leads in 8 contested states for an additional 88 electoral votes, 264 total.

Senator Kerry leads in 5 contested states for an additional 67 electoral votes and 221 total (counting D.C. also).

There are 6 toss up states with a total of 53 electoral votes.

So, if I count correctly, the President needs only 6 electoral votes from the toss up states to win, if he holds his lead in the others. If he wins Ohio and its 20 votes, he is home free.

Conventional wisdom has been for years that a Republican cannot win without Ohio. However, in this scenario, the President could lose Ohio and win New Mexico and New Hampshire and win the whole thing.

Senator Kerry has to win all the toss up states except New Hampshire to win.

Come on, Ohio!

Monday, October 11, 2004

WHAT'S IN YOUR E-MAIL? Even though I now do civil law work and my prosecuting days are long past, I am amazed at the different world in which prosecutors live and to which we are accustomed. How many people get an email like this and do not bat an eye:

If anyone has the book Flight Characteristics and Stain Patterns of Human Blood by Herbert MacDonnell, please contact me. Thank you!

This is why I applaud those who clean up society's messes. Police, fire fighters, prosecutors, medical examiners, doctors and nurses know more about things than you should have to know.

A banker does not have a book on his shelf that shows you what an injury to a child looks like from different items such as coat hangers or electric cords. An accountant has never looked at a deceased person for lividity patterns. Someone has to. Someone has to catch the bad guys and punish them.

Someone has to take out the trash. Someone has to take care of sick people. Someone has to face the fire or the bad guy.

We try to put a pretty face on human life. The reality is pretty harsh at times. If you are fortunate enough not to have to deal with the underside of the rock, appreciate of those who do.

Friday, October 08, 2004

OOPS. The National Committee for Quality Assurance, a private company, reports that poor quality medical care led to 79,000 avoidable deaths last year and $1.8 billion in additional medical costs.

NCQA also reported a shift from tightly managed HMOs toward more loosely managed PPOs (preferred provider organizations) that are not monitored by NCQA. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care took first place in clinical care and member satisfaction. They only work in New England, so you cannot switch to them if you live here in the Lone Star State.
POLITICAL TIDBITS. Since I am going to the high school football game and fulfill my duties as band announcer, cheerleader for the Baby, and social butterfly, I will miss the debate. So, here are some things to chew on.

Kerry spent 20 years in the Senate and did not author one piece of significant, successful litigation.

Kerry criticizes the loss of jobs during the Bush administration. Unemployment is at 5.4%. Six percent used to be viewed as full employment. In September, 96,000 new jobs came on line. Kerry supports the Kyoto treaty, which would cause the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs.
GOOD BLOG TITLE. I admire those with really good titles for their blogs. Here is one I ran into by a guy whose last name is Brun. The title is "Brun, Baby, Brun". Isn't that great!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

SOPHIE'S CHOICE II. Knight Ridder News Services has an interesting story of kidnapping in Uganda. Rebels kidnapped Charlotte Awino when she was 14. Rebels have kidnapped thousands of children in Uganda, and tens of thousands all over Africa. They are forced to become fighters, laborers, or sex slaves. The twist to this story is that Awino's mother is a leading advocate for kidnapped children in Uganda. But, when given the chance to get her daughter back, the mother passed. Her reasoning was that she did not want to get her daughter back when no one else was. She said it was a difficult choice, but worth it. I wonder what Charlotte thought.

Note to my relatives: if you have the chance to get me back, take it!
AUGUSTINE. "He loves Thee too little who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for thy sake."
De Idolatria. Hughes Oliphant Old in Worship That Is Reformed According To Scripture:
"If God has commanded us not to worship him by creating images of our own art and imagination it is because he wants us to be his image. Worship is the workshop where we are transformed into his image. When we are thus transformed into his image, we then reflect his glory. It is then through the ministry of praise and prayer, the ministry of word and sacrament that we are transformed to offer that spiritual worship which the Apostle Paul tells us is acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1-2)."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Vice President just caught John Edwards overstating the figures on Iraq by about double.
ANATIDAEPHOBIA: The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.
ISLAM SUPPORTS KERRY. The MUSLIM AMERICAN POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE has formally endorsed John Kerry for president. That would cinch it for me. To vote for President Bush, that is!
I FEEL A LITTLE BETTER NOW. The Washington Post’s poll shows that President Bush continues to lead Mr. Kerry among “likely voters” by 51 percent to 46 percent. The President holds a three-point advantage among all registered voters.

The percentage of likely voters who have a favorable view of Mr. Kerry rose to 47 percent, post debate. However, the President remains more popular. 53 percent of likely voters say they had a favorable impression of him.

The Gallup Organization shows the race even. Zogby shows the President ahead by one point, unchanged from a pre-debate poll. Pew shows the President ahead by five points, just as it did before the debate.

The reality seems to be that people thought Mr. Kerry did better in the debate than they expected. His own supporters are enthused. But, not much changed in the overall shape of the election as a result.

Those who track the electoral votes also say the President still has the lead there.

Monday, October 04, 2004

RAGS TO RESPECTIBILITY. Former Congressman James Rogan (R-CA), has written a book, Rough Edges: My Unlikely Road from Welfare to Washington. He believes, as I do, that conservatism helps the poor more than liberalism. Mr. Rogan says "Conservatism is the antidote to intergenerational poverty. It is important for people to move from welfare to work if they are ever to be free. Conservatism - - by that I mean less government intrusion in people’s lives and more personal freedom from governmental intrusion in our lives - - preaches that independence from government handouts is the remedy to advancing in life. Coming from a welfare family, I learned that lesson. I saw what happened in the lives of so many people around me who became addicted to government largesse. They lost all incentive to climb the economic ladder."
SURREALISM IS CHURCH. You never know what to expect in church these days. It often reminds you of a Dali painting. You look at the service as you might his canvas, thinking you will see a rational whole, only to be surprised that your attention is captured by something inappropriate to the scene. Dali uses that to convey a message. In church, it is more likely the product of failing to think about what is going on. That itself conveys a message.

Sunday, a women's trio sang a version of "Holy, Holy, Holy", that great hymn that extols and praises God in three persons, "Blessed Trinity". The only thing is, to make the version more "upbeat", they began by singings several measures of "do do do do" like pop songs often do.

What would make you think that was appropriate? You sing of God in all his majesty and glory, and "do do do"?

Sometimes we forget that the worship service is not about us. If you are a preacher, it is not about your eloquence or verbal pyrotechnics (as much as I like them), it is about setting out the Word in a way that glorifies God and edifies the church.

If you are a composer, or singer, or musician, it is not about how creative you can be, or how many styles of music you can adapt, it is about using music to set out the Word in a way that glorifies God and edifies the church.

"Holy, Holy, Holy" certainly glorifies God. It is full of praise and worship. It also edifies the church. It teaches that the doctrine of the Trinity, it teaches only God is holy, it teaches that the church praises the name of God.

"Do do do" doesn't.