Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uninformed Voters

One of my gripes about every election is the number of uniformed (not unintelligent) voters who don't take the time to research issues beyond what they hear or see on the mainstream media. The video below illustrates the huge impact that the media has on voters. The questions were asked to 12 Obama voters, and I understand that Zogby will be releasing a larger sampling perhaps even today.

Zogby released this statement today: "We stand by the results our survey work on behalf of John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. We reject the notion that this was a push poll because it very simply wasn't. It was a legitimate effort to test the knowledge of voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 election. Push polls are a malicious effort to sway public opinion one way or the other, while message and knowledge testing is quite another effort of public opinion research that is legitimate inquiry and has value in the public square. In this case, the respondents were given a full range of responses and were not pressured or influenced to respond in one way or another. This poll was not designed to hurt anyone, which is obvious as it was conducted after the election. The client is free to draw his own conclusions about the research, as are bloggers and other members of society. But Zogby International is a neutral party in this matter. We were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that's exactly what we did. We don't have to agree or disagree with the questions, we simply ask them and provide the client with a fair and accurate set of data reflecting public opinion." - John Zogby

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After Thoughts

Now that the election is over ...
  • everyone will be happy that endless political ads and commercials will not be heard for another couple years.
  • I'll wonder what to post on this blog.
  • it's time to congratulate our new President-elect, and acknowledge this historic event.
  • it's also time for Republicans to regroup and understand why we lost.

Here are some thoughts that have been going through my mind about why McCain and so many other Republicans were defeated.

  1. I truly believe that McCain was the wrong candidate to go up against Obama. During the primaries, the media was very much behind McCain, and that helped him secure the win, but as soon as the primaries were over, the media switched allegiances. The debates were controlled too much by a few individuals, and the issues asked during the Republican Primary debates where seldom if ever touched on during the General Election. One of the big problems with McCain is that many conservatives did not really support him, but they simply opposed Obama ... that resulted in a less than enthusiastic campaign.
  2. The other problem was perception. This has everything to do with appearance, and nothing to do with substance. Obama was young, McCain was old. Obama was charismatic and eloquent, McCain's speeches were rather dull and boring. Obama seemed to be in touch, McCain seemed a little out of date. I truly believe a younger, more articulate candidate would have faired better against Obama ... I don't know if that alone would have secured a victory, but it might have helped.
  3. I believe McCain missed a golden opportunity that the $700 Billion pork bailout bill gave him to show that he truly was a maverick. He should have voted against that bill. He should have named names and made famous all the pork that was included in that bill, as he said he would do to any pork laden bill that would come across his desk if he were elected president. Many Americans thought the bailout was a bad idea, and McCain would have had the opportunity to show a huge contrast between himself and Obama, especially as the stock market continues to drop after the bailout has gone into effect.
By the next election cycle, I hope that the Republican Party will find a Newt Gingrich type person who can articulate conservative solutions to problems our nation faces. As Rush Limbaugh says, conservatism works every time it's tried.

Looking ahead to 2012 ... Go Huckabee!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Is Our Constitution Fundamentally Flawed??

Sen. Obama thinks so. If elected, is he going to actually take the oath to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States when he believes it has fundamental flaws?

Elect Obama if you want skyrocketing electric bills!

Not only does Obama want to bankrupt the coal industry, but he also wants to fight global warming by creating more of a hardship on the poor and middle class! He essentially says that power companies will be fined for greenhouse gas emissions, and they would pass that cost on to the consumers. He also says that the Amercian people should accept that for the good of the environment. Listen for yourself:

Sen. Obama, that is NOT the kind of change we need! He also says that "price signals" should be used to our "change behavior" concerning what type of vehicles we drive and how much electricity we use!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Huckabee on Obama's Ever Lowering Tax Plan

Being from WV, I realize the importance that the coal mining industry has on a state or region. I have uncles who work in coal mines. My grandfather died from black lung from working in a coal mine. My father works on pumps that are used in coal mines. Today, in a released audio tape, Barack Obama basically states that he would bankrupt the coal industry!! Wake up America! Be sure think before you vote!

Take a listen, and click here for the story. Reaction from the coal industry in WV can be read here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Have You Discovered The Gas Game?

For the last several months, I've been following the postings on The Gas Game. They are VERY accurate on their predictions about whether gas prices will be lowered or raised each week. I've saved money by filling my tank when they indicate prices will raise, and waiting a few days when they say to expect a drop in prices.

I recommend visiting their website and check out the "refinery status" and "gas price map" links. Also sign up for free to their RSS feed.

I found their latest post interesting about why gas prices are not lower than they are, with the huge drop of price per barrel of oil.

Why aren’t gas prices lower?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 9:20 AM: The following question has been posed to me several times the past month: On July 15, oil was at $145 a barrel, and gasoline cost $4.25 a gallon at the pump in Grand Rapids. Last week, oil was $72 a barrel, and gasoline cost $2.96 a gallon. If the price of oil has been cut in half, why hasn’t the price of gas followed suit?

There are a few reasons for this, that I will try to explain.

1. NYMEX. Oil and gasoline futures are traded on the NYMEX, a public market with prices available for all to see. The price of these future contracts helps set what is called the “spot” price, which is what is actually charged when real oil or gasoline changes hands at the wholesale level. Sales and other taxes are not included in the NYMEX prices. Looking at these futures prices, both oil and gasoline has dropped approximately 50%, so at least at the NYMEX level, these prices are correlated.

2. Taxes. There are three taxes applied to the wholesale price: the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, the state gas tax of 19 cents per gallon, and the sales tax of 6%. So, that’s at least 50 cents of the retail price that is taxes, regardless of the wholesale price (except for the sales tax, of course). In the past three months, those taxes have not been cut in half, so it would be hard for the retail price to drop 50%.

3. Chicago Summer Premium. I coined this term a few years ago to describe how, during the summer months, the wholesale price in the Midwest is usually higher than the price based on NYMEX. The reasons for this have to do with reformulated gasoline, variations in supply and demand, and some other mysteries I’ve never solved. A way to monitor this premium is to look at the wholesale numbers for selected Midwest cities that are posted on AXXIS. The NYMEX/AXXIS difference was 20 cents on July 15, over a dollar in mid-September when Hurricane Ike struck, and is currently still 41 cents. The AXXIS price has not dropped in half the past three months, and this may still be a hangover from the hurricanes. It is also the first place I would look for gas gouging if I was the Attorney General.

4. The Dynamics of the Retail Market. As a journalist said to me last week, “Up like a rocket, down like a feather.” We’ve documented time and again on this site how this works, with the big price hikes followed by the gentle day-to-day drops, while the wholesale price fluctuates in the background. Our last price hike was during the September 12-14 weekend, when prices got up to $4.29 on 28th street. Since then, the drops have been slow but sure — some days one or two cents, other days seven or eight cents. In an area where there are several stations, one station decides to drop their prices a few cents because a cheaper shipment came in that day, and the other stations follow suit. The point is that the retailers aren’t setting their prices based on trading on NYMEX. They are setting it based on their costs, what their competitors are doing, and what sort of business they are getting. Are the retailers making extra money right now? I doubt it, as our monitoring indicates they are still dealing with high wholesale prices in the Midwest, and some of the gas in their tanks cost them $2.95 a gallon last week. But prices continue to fall, slowly but surely.

All this leads to my latest prediction: It looks to me like the chaos on Wall Street is dissipating, so energy prices are starting to stabilize. I expect Speedway and friends will decide it is time to straighten up their prices, with a reset by the end of the week to $2.89.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do You Want An International Crisis?? If So, VOTE OBAMA!

VP Candidate Joe Biden promised a crisis within 6 months if Obama is voted in as President.

Former Secretary of State under President Clinton, Madeleine Albright agrees with Biden:

WAKE UP AMERICA! The last thing our country needs right now is to deal with an international crisis. Elect somebody who is ready to lead -- John McCain.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hoogendyk for Senate!!!

In tonight's debate, it was comical that Senator Carl Levin called Rep. Hoogendyk extreme and unable to reach across party lines in a bipartisan manner. Levin is an extreme liberal who does nothing to reach out and work with Republicans.

Levin admitted that the reason the people of Michigan should vote for him is because of the earmarks and money he can bring back to the state because of his seniority position in the Senate. THAT IS TROUBLING!!! He also admitted that he voted against the Bush tax plans even though the majority of Michigan citizens supported it. Why?? Because "Grandpa looking-over-his-glasses-at-the-end-of-his-nose Levin" knew that it would be bad for Michigan and bad for America. Levin said he did support the tax relief for the middle and lower class, but voted against the bill because he thinks the upper class should be taxed much higher. Then he turned right around and said the middle class suffered under Bush (no mention of the Democrat controlled House and Senate, or the Democrat Governor we have) even though the tax cut he voted against actually passed. Go figure.

Hoogendyk hit hard against the bailout package, especially all the "sweeteners" that were added to get it passed ... I was glad to hear somebody who gets it.

There's no need to point fingers about where the blame lies for the state of the economy in Michigan or the nation ... let's just fix it by putting some people into office who have common sense and are guided by their principles rather than politics! Vote Hoogendyk!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Michigan Senatorial Debate - Oct. 19 & 20

If you live in Michigan, I hope you will take the time to tune into the debates between current Senator Carl Levin and challenger Jack Hoogendyk. The debates will be streamed here ... www.wgvu.org (Hat tip to Larry at Forty-four.)

If you don't know much about him, here are a few videos featuring Jack Hoogendyk:

A Comparison in Patriotism

Republican VP candidate, Sarah Palin knows how to connect with and fire up a crowd! One reporter wrote, "Here is the thing about governor Sarah Palin: She loves America. Really loves it. She loves the smell of cut grass and hay, as she told Ohio voters Sunday. She loves Navy bases, she said in Virginia Beach on Monday morning. She loves America's "most beautiful national anthem," she told a crowd here." The latest campaign controversy involves a statement made by Palin about the patriotic enthusiasm of small towns. She said there were "very pro-America." Of course Biden thought she meant that large towns and Democrats were therefore "anti-American". Below is a video from CNN about it.

Compare Palin's attitude of loving America's "most beautiful national anthem" to the video below and this snippet from an article in a New Hampshire paper, the Union Leader:

Not present, or at least not singing the National Anthem at the rally was Londonderry senior Zach Bencal.

Bencal, who sings the anthem for a number of school events and is actively involved in local community theatre, had been contacted by the Obama campaign to sing the anthem. He agreed to do so, then was told later in the evening the anthem had been scratched from the program. Bencal said he was told by the campaign the decision was a simple programming change to make room for another speaker.

"I guess it just wasn't meant to be," Bencal said.

Sandra Abrevaya, communications director for the Obama campaign's Manchester office, confirmed the choice had simply been a last-minute scratch from the rally's program, which included the Pledge of Allegiance.

"We regret the miscommunication with Zach about today's event but we are pleased that several other New Hampshire residents were able to speak at today's event, where thousands of voters in both parties gathered to hear Sen. Obama discuss his plan to bring the change we need to Washington."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dean Reynolds, a CBS reporter covering the campaigns of Obama and McCain, made the following observations in a blog. I believe his article provides some valuable insight into the organizational and leadership skills of each candidate, as well as an insight into their character.

Behind the scenes, where the public is not allowed, there are other differences.

Obama's campaign schedule is fuller, more hectic and seemingly improvisational. The Obama aides who deal with the national reporters on the campaign plane are often overwhelmed, overworked and un-informed about where, when, why or how the candidate is moving about. Baggage calls are preposterously early with the explanation that it's all for security reasons.

If so, I would love to have someone from Obama's campaign explain why the entire press corps, the Secret Service, and the local police idled for two hours in a Miami hotel parking lot recently because there was nothing to do and nowhere to go. It was not an isolated case.

The national headquarters in Chicago airily dismisses complaints from journalists wondering why a schedule cannot be printed up or at least e-mailed in time to make coverage plans. Nor is there much sympathy for those of us who report for a newscast that airs in the early evening hours. Our shows place a premium on live reporting from the scene of campaign events. But this campaign can often be found in the air and flying around at the time the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" is broadcast. I suspect there is a feeling within the Obama campaign that the broadcast networks are less influential in the age of the internet and thus needn't be accomodated as in the days of yore. Even if it's true, they are only hurting themselves by dissing audiences that run in the tens of millions every night.

The McCain folks are more helpful and generally friendly. The schedules are printed on actual books you can hold in your hand, read, and then plan accordingly. The press aides are more knowledgeable and useful to us in the news media. The events are designed with a better eye, and for the simple needs of the press corps. When he is available, John McCain is friendly and loquacious. Obama holds news conferences, but seldom banters with the reporters who've been following him for thousands of miles around the country. Go figure.

The McCain campaign plane is better than Obama's, which is cramped, uncomfortable and smells terrible most of the time. Somehow the McCain folks manage to keep their charter clean, even where the press is seated.

The other day in Albuquerque, N.M., the reporters were given almost no time to file their reports after McCain spoke. It was an important, aggressive speech, lambasting Obama's past associations. When we asked for more time to write up his remarks and prepare our reports, the campaign readily agreed to it. They understood.

Similar requests are often denied or ignored by the Obama campaign aides, apparently terrified that the candidate may have to wait 20 minutes to allow reporters to chronicle what he's just said. It's made all the more maddening when we are rushed to our buses only to sit and wait for 30 minutes or more because nobody seems to know when Obama is actually on the move.

Maybe none of this means much. Maybe a front-running campaign like Obama's that is focused solely on victory doesn't have the time to do the mundane things like print up schedules or attend to the needs of reporters.

But in politics, everything that goes around comes around.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Joe Biden and Home Depot

A radio host checks up on Biden's statement that he often goes to Home Depot:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Greater Vision Concert

One of my favorite gospel groups is a male trio called Greater Vision. They have recently had a transition of a new tenor singer, and I have been anxious to hear their new sound. In reading a Southern Gospel Blog, I found this link to Dr. David Jeremiah's church, where Greater Vision recently performed a concert. The concert is archived in their streaming video section. If you are interested, and have a high speed connection, take a look and listen at Greater Vision.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Government Bailout

I'll admit that I don't understand everything about Wall Street and current economic crisis that large lending institutions are experiencing. However, I do know that I don't like what I am hearing from the President about multiple billions of dollars to bail them out. I have found a couple resources that make sense to me, and wanted to pass them on. The first is a video of Newt Gingrich (thanks to Larry), the second is a letter from Mike Huckabee.

Frankly, I’m disappointed and disgusted with my own Republican party as I watch them attempt to strong-arm a bailout of some of America’s biggest corporations by asking the taxpayers to suck up the staggering results of the hubris, greed, and arrogance of those who sought to make a quick buck by throwing the dice. They lost, but want the rest of us to cover their bets so they won’t be effected in their lavish lifestyles as they figure out how to spend their tens of millions and in some cases, hundreds of millions in bonuses and compensation which was their reward for not only sinking their companies, but basically doing the same to the entire American economy.

It’s especially disconcerting to see the very people who pilloried me during the Presidential campaign for being a “populist” and not “understanding Wall Street” to now line up like thirsty dogs at the Washington, D. C. water dish, otherwise known as Congress, and plead for help. I thought these guys were the smartest people in America! I thought that taxpayers like you and I were similar to the people at the U. N. who have no translator speaking into their headset - that we just needed to trust those that I called the power bunch in the “Wall Street to Washington axis of power.”

The idea of a government bailout in which we’d entrust $700 billion to one man without Congressional oversight or accountability is absurd. My party or not, that is insanity and I believe unconstitutional.

Will there be far-reaching consequences without some intervention? Probably, but we honestly don’t know since we’ve really never seen this level of greed and stupidity all rolled into one massive move. But may I suggest that letting “Uncle Sugar” step in and bail out the billionaires who made the mess will be far worse and will start a long line of companies and individuals who will demand the same of the government---which last time I checked means that they will be demanding it out of YOU and ME. This is not money that Congress is risking from THEIR pockets or future, but ours. Many if not most of us have already experienced lost value on our homes, retirement accounts, and pensions. Now they’d like for us to assume some further risks so they won’t have to.

What happened to the “free market” idea? Is that only our view when we WIN and when we LOSE, we ask the government to come in and take away the pain?

If you are a small business owner, is this the way it works at your place? When you have a bad month, a bad year, or face having to close, can you go up to Congress and get them to write YOU a fat check to take away your risk?

Some of what contributed to this disaster is too much government in the form of Sarbanes/Oxley. Some is due to the tax structure that created the hunger for companies to “game” the system. Some is the common sense that was ignored like loaning money to people who can’t pay it back.

Wall Street has become Las Vegas east, but at least in Vegas, people KNOW they are gambling and they don’t expect the government to cover their losses at the tables. In Wall Street, they do. And the American taxpayer burdens the responsibility.

If Congress wants to do something, here are some suggestions:

  1. Eliminate ALL capital gains taxes and taxes on savings and dividends right now. Free up the capital and encourage investment. This is the kind of economic stimulus the Fair Tax would bring and if Congress is going to lose money, let them lose it with lower taxes, not with public dollar bailouts of private market mistakes.

  2. Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. It has failed. It was supposed to prevent this. It didn’t. Kill it.

  3. Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies. Of course, they can’t, so let them work and give back to the government and they can live like the people they put on the streets or kept there. It makes no sense to put them in jail—that’s just more they will cost you and me. I’d rather them go out and earn money—just not get to keep so much of it this time. I’m not talking about limiting CEO salaries---just those of the people who now are up in Washington begging for help because they ruined their companies.

Attempts by Democrats and Republicans to blame each other is nonsense. They are both guilty and ought to own up and admit it. They all lived off big campaign contributions and the swill of the lobbyists who strong armed them into permission to steal. Enough of blame. Fix it!

New Job


On Friday, I completed my third week of training at Allegiance Health. I have been hired as a Customer Service Representative for Day Surgery. I have the wonderful opportunity to help people as they nervously sit in the waiting room as their family and friends are in surgery. Whether it be a cup of coffee or ice water, or providing an update from the nurse, or escorting them to be reunited with their loved one following the surgery, my job is to be the liason between the family waiting room and the surgical areas.

During my training, I observed the pre-operation routine, the recovery areas, and I even had the opportunity to observe some surgeries -- FASCINATING!! I am very happy with the job! For those of you who may be wondering, I am still working as a pastor as well. This is a second job, to help with church and personal finances. We prayed that something would work out, and this job provides flexibility in hours, as well as some awesome benefits. I thank the Lord for providing this opportunity.

If you see me at the hospital, don't look for a preacher in a suit -- I'll be wearing scrubs.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Energyless Energy Bill

The following is taken from an e-mail newsletter from our District's Representative to the U.S. House, Tim Walberg.

Late Monday night, under the guise of darkness, Speaker Pelosi and her Democratic allies introduced another energy bill that fails to produce any new American energy. The following morning, Speaker Pelosi forced a vote on this massive, bloated legislation.

The Pelosi bill adds more restrictions to exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska’s North Slope and the Inter-Mountain West; contains no nuclear energy or clean coal-to-liquids technology; offers no lawsuit reform; prevents the building of new refineries and includes $19 billion in energy tax hikes on American consumers, manufacturers and small businesses. In short, this is an energyless energy bill that puts politics above principle. Instead of working on a real energy plan, this Congress would rather pass a bill that maximizes political gains for a political party. We need to put aside partisan posturing and open the House Chamber to a real debate and allow real votes on America’s energy future.

Prior to final passage of the Democrats’ "no energy" bill, the Majority rejected a Republican proposal to pass the bipartisan National Conservation, Environment, and Energy Independence Act (H.R. 6709), a bill authored by Reps. John Peterson (R-PA) and Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and co-sponsored by 39 Democrats and over 90 Republicans. While not perfect, this bill is the closest to a truly bi-partisan compromise the House has come all year, yet House Democrats rejected the bill as only 13 Democrats supported this legislation.

Speaker Pelosi has one week left to pass a new energy bill that takes an ‘all of the above’ approach: more drilling, more alternatives, more conservation. The majority of members in Congress are willing to work together to make such a bill a reality, but time is running out. Speaker Pelosi has scheduled the House to adjourn on September 26. I will continue pushing for the energy bill we need over the next few days.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

GOP Convention

It was good to hear Gov. Huckabee speak tonight. He made two comments that received overwhelming applause. The first was about the sanctity of life. The other was when he said, "Sarah Palin received more votes running for mayor in Wasilla, AK than Joe Biden received running for President of the United States."


Mitt Romney made a good point in his speech about change. The Democrats are running on the idea of change, and Romney agree that alot of liberal policies in Washington, D.C. need change. From the liberal rulings on the Supreme Court regarding Guantanamo Bay, to the Congress not allowing us to drill for oil or build new refineries, etc., we do need change! McCain has a plan to bring productive change that we need.

Mayor Rudy went on the attack against Obama. He said there is good change and bad change. I liked his quote, "Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy." He got the crowd really worked up and enthused.

VP Candidate Sarah Palin communicated very effectively in her speech, once she got started. She stood at the podium for several minutes saying "Thank You" over and over to a standing ovation. I have yet to research all of her beliefs, but what I have heard so far, I like. She took on the liberal media, and Obama's lack of experience. Very well done!

WVU Wins Home Opener

New coach Bill Stewart had the Mountaineers ready to play last Saturday. In the warm-up game against Villanova, WVU did what it what was supposed to do ... win easily. Pat White, WVU QB and Heisman candidate, threw 5 TD passes, setting a Mountaineer Field record for a West Virginia QB.

The Mountaineers have their work cut out for them. The defense did come up with some big plays, but they allowed the opposition to control the clock. If the defense gels, and the offense continues to roll, this will be a special season for the old gold and blue!

Back To School!

Well, the busy summer is finished, and it's time to settle down into a routine again. I am hoping to start blogging again. However, with the addition of a part time job, life won't slow down much. Today we are beginning our second year of homeschooling. In honor of the first day of school, I'm including a link to a video clip of Ma & Pa Kettle teaching us something about mathematics. There are two columns of links on the page, you'll see it in the second column, a little over half way down the list. It's very funny, and worth checking out.

Ma and Pa Kettle - Math Video

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama + Biden

It didn't take long for McCain to put out an ad about Obama's VP pick.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Media's Obsession over Obama

Here's an interesting video compilation of the media's love for Obama.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Action Alert from US Rep. Tim Walberg

I received the following email from my US Rep, Tim Walberg. Please read, and contact your Representative, asking them to sign the discharge petition on HR 3089, the No More Excuses Energy Act.

Taking Action on High Gas Prices

Just as with the Manhattan project or the race to the moon, breaking our dependence on foreign oil should be a national priority. Congress needs to allow an increase in America’s investment in our overall production of energy.

Despite fuel costs at levels previously only seen in Europe, leadership in this Congress refuses to increase American energy production. Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leading House Democrats would rather increase taxes on domestic energy production and increase our reliance on OPEC. We need leadership that is willing to take action.

This week I introduced a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill to increase U.S. energy production and invest in alternative sources of energy. The appropriately named No More Excuses Energy Act, H.R. 3089, would increase the supply of energy produced in America and begin to break our dependence on foreign oil.

This bill would immediately open up ANWR in Alaska for environmentally sensitive oil exploration. According to recent estimates, today America would receive one million barrels of oil per day from ANWR if President Clinton had not blocked exploration in 1996.

Outer-continental shelf exploration, new refineries, wind, natural gas and new nuclear power plants are also covered in this legislation. This bill would return much of our energy production back to the United States and create good paying American jobs, instead of sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to prop up countries like Venezuela that are opposed to American ideals.

Since Speaker Pelosi refuses to bring this bill to the House floor, a discharge petition is the only way to force a vote on this legislation. House rules state that a discharge petition must have 218 signatures (a simple majority) in order to bring a bill to the floor for a vote, and I am working hard to bring both Democrats and Republicans together in support of this bill. As of Thursday night, the petition had 137 signatures, and I encourage you to contact your friends in other districts and states to make sure their representatives support this effort.

We in south-central Michigan desperately need a comprehensive energy solution passed by this session of Congress. In the coming days, I will be meeting with local officials across the seventh district to discuss how high gas prices are affecting our communities.

High gas prices are affecting families, truckers, farmers, small business owners, emergency services and numerous other entities across Michigan. I am also very concerned about programs that are vital to our area but often are overlooked by the media, such as Meals on Wheels, veterans care programs, Hospice, blood donations, food banks, and many other great organizations who rely on volunteers with affordable transportation.

America cannot afford continued inaction by Congress, and we need to increase American oil and gas production in the short-term while we invest in new, clean American-made alternative energies in the long-term. Many in Congress may gloss over the current energy crisis in America, the majority of Americans cannot. The American people believe in expanding our American energy supply and developing alternatives to break our dependence on foreign oil. It is time Congress agrees and acts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15 - Tax Day

Although I e-filed over a month ago, today was the day I wrote out a check and went to the post office to pay my taxes. Hopefully we will be able to write such a letter to the IRS when our current system is replaced by a Fair Tax.

In a week and a day (April 23rd), we will experience Tax Freedom Day, the day we stop working for the government and start working for ourselves. The Tax Freedom Foundation has some interesting statistics on their web site:

“Government continues to dominate the American taxpayer’s budget,” said Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge. “Americans will still spend more on taxes in 2008 than they will spend on food, clothing and housing combined.”

In 2008, Americans will work 74 days to afford their federal taxes and 39 more days to pay state and local taxes. Meanwhile, buying food requires 35 days of work, clothing 13 days, and housing 60 days. Other major categories are health and medical care (50 days), transportation (29 days), and recreation (21 days).

If you want to learn more about the Fair Tax, visit these websites:

Americans for Fair Taxation

Fair Tax Calculator
To learn about or get involved in the Fair Tax Movement in the State of Michigan:

Michigan Fair Tax

Michigan Fair Tax Proposal

Huckabee Launches Politial Action Committee


Today, Gov. Mike Huckabee unveiled a new website. He has formed a PAC to help support and promote candidates who stand for conservative values. I encourage you to check out the new website. Here's a portion of Gov. Huckabee's statement:

Huck PAC is something I am very excited about. As I campaigned across this country over the last fourteen months I met families and individuals eager for change in Washington and the Republican Party.

Many felt that their Party needed to get back to its core principles: less government, a strong national defense and unwavering support for the family and the sanctity of life.

I campaigned to be the agent of that change and while we may have come up short, I remain and I hope you do as well, undeterred, because the campaign was never about me.

If it had been, I can assure you I would have gotten out of the race long before the Ames Straw Poll when generous pollsters had us trolling at 2-3% in national polls. I stayed in the race then because my campaign was always about the issues and the voters. The folks that felt invisible and overlooked and who believed that Washington wasn’t fighting for the same principles they believed in.

Enter Huck PAC.

Huck PAC is founded on the principles that make America great: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And because we believe our Republican Party embodies these ideas and is best suited to lead America forward, we are committed to supporting Republican candidates who are passionate advocates for tax reform, a strong national defense, real border security, life, the family, less government and individual liberty.

We will identify candidates who hold firm to these principles, promote their campaigns and financially support their efforts.
I listened to a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh's radio program this afternoon. He was bemoaning the fact that the presidential candidates were poor choices because they did not support life (i.e. they support abortion), they did not support liberty (i.e. they support limitations on our liberty in light of global warming, etc.), and so on. I wonder if Rush got his talking points on this subject from Huckabee's letter?

InterChurch Holiness Convention

This week at the Convention Center in Dayton, OH, a convention is being held that focuses on living a holy, godly life. The convention highlights excellent singing and preaching. This year, the services are being broadcast live in both audio and video. We were unable to attend IHC this week, but we are able to "sit in" by way of the internet.

If you'd like to catch a glimpse of IHC, go to www.ihconvention.com.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Huckabee Conference Call

Tonight I enjoyed listening to a Conference Call with Gov. Huckabee hosted by Strang Communications. The host said there were 6,000 people who called in to listen to Huckabee talk about his presidential bid, the role of faith in politics, and a host of other subjects.

Kerry at OneMom has an excellent recap of the call, as well as a link to the audio replay of the call if you are interested.

By the way, the Huckabee website is undergoing some major changes to be unveiled on April 15th at noon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Exciting Tuesday Afternoon

After making a hospital call Tuesday morning, I found the road that leads to the church and our house blocked by police tape. I went around the block, to try to get home from the other side of the street, but the same yellow ribbon stretched across the street. I drove through our back yard and saw the police were sitting in the church parking lot.

I was relieved to find out that they didn't have a warrant for the pastor of the church! Our neighbor across the road from the church was cleaning out his garage and found a gernade. The bomb squad was called in, and I was advised to stay back by our house, and not go inside the church, in case the gernade happened to explode. Below is the article from today's local paper, the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Grenade discovered in garage

Wednesday, April 09, 2008
By Danielle Quisenberry
dquisenberry@citpat.com -- 768-4929

A couple of weeks ago, Patrick Hills came across a cardboard tube in his cluttered garage and casually tossed it aside, unaware of its contents.

Tuesday morning, he realized the tube contained a decades-old hand grenade, and called police.

``Once I figured out what it was, it kind of startled me,'' said Hills, 20, of Vandercook Lake. ``I didn't want to take any chances.''

Jackson County sheriff's deputies called the Michigan State Police bomb squad to Hills' house at 404 Comstock St. and the squad determined Tuesday afternoon the grenade was live or still charged with explosives, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Troopers took the device to a gravel pit off U.S. 127 and detonated it, Undersheriff Tom Finco said.

Hills said he thinks the grenade was a souvenir saved by his grandfather, Glenn Hills of Speedwell, Tenn., who once served overseas with the U.S. Army and previously owned the house.

``My grandfather collected everything,'' Hills said as he worked behind the home Tuesday evening.

Old equipment, wood stacks and other items were scattered about the premises. The garage was stacked with clutter.

Hills bought the house about three months ago and is working to tidy and remodel it.

He had been cleaning up the garage about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when he found the explosive, which had its pin still in it, and moved it to the front yard.

``Only God knows how long it's been in there,'' said Hills, who was surprised to learn the grenade was live.

He said he's glad his two young children weren't home at the time. They were staying with his fiancee's parents while Hills worked on the house.

As a precaution, deputies closed part of Comstock Street and vacated Hills' home and the nearest house, which sits a couple hundred feet away.

The two lots surrounding Hills' house are empty. A church is across the street.

It took the bomb squad, based in Lansing, about 21/2 hours to get to the scene and about 15 minutes to realize the grenade was live, Hills said.

Such devices are ``nothing to mess with,'' Finco said.

Sheriff Dan Heyns advised people should leave a potential explosive alone. ``Do not touch or move it. Immediately call 911 and report your find,'' he said in a statement.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Will McCain try to court the Religious Right?

Politico.com reports that McCain shies away from talking about religion. Here's an expert of an article written by Johnaton Martin:

Traversing the country this week on a tour of places that have shaped his life and informed his values, John McCain spoke in strikingly personal language to introduce himself to the American public.

But missing so far is any significant mention of religious faith.

In an Oprah Winfrey-era where soul-baring and expressions of faith are the norm for public figures, the presumptive Republican nominee, open and candid about much else, retains a shroud of privacy around his Christianity.

With Obama having the #1 most liberal voting record in the Senate, and Clinton ranking as the 16th most liberal Senator, neither Democratic candidate is an option for conservative voters. While leaning towards supporting McCain at the moment, I am still waiting for him to "reach across the aisle" in my direction. It appears that once again the Evangelical wing of the party will be taken for granted. I wonder if that will be a tragic mistake come November?

Friday, March 28, 2008

More Support for Huckabee ... A Bit Late, Though

Paul Weyrich, a founder of the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the Council for National Policy, said recently, "Friends, before all of you and before almighty God, I want to say I was wrong."

In a quiet, brief, but passionate speech, Weyrich essentially confessed that he and the other leaders should have backed Huckabee, a candidate who shared their values more fully than any other candidate in a generation. He agreed with Farris that many conservative leaders had blown it. By chasing other candidates with greater visibility, they failed to see what many of their supporters in the trenches saw clearly: Huckabee was their guy.

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Conservative Taking on Levin for US Senate

You can access information about Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who has been a representative in the state of Michigan since 2003 by clicking here or on the banner over to the right. He comes recommended by a couple Michigan bloggers whose opinions I have grown to trust: One Mom and Forty Four. I look forward to learning more about Mr. Hoogendyk and sharing that with you between now and Election Day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Clinton Caught Lying Again

I'm not talking about former President Bill Clinton, I am talking about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
  • At one time, she claimed that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to climb Mt. Everest ... but that story had to be changed when it was discovered that he accomplished that feat five years after she was born.
  • Last August, Hillary pledged not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan or Florida primaries. However, she kept her name on the Michigan ballot, while Obama and others withdrew their names. She actually did some campaigning in Florida. Now she wants those primary delegates to be awarded to her.
  • Hillary Clinton has claimed that she brought peace to Northern Ireland, that she was instrumental in bringing about the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), that she was sent on dangerous missions as first lady that were far too dangerous for the President himself, that she will release her 2006 taxes, and that she is working on getting her records released from her time as first lady. (see article)
  • "She's the most unbelievable actress I have ever met," said a woman who worked on Hillary's Senate campaign. "I remember one time at a Women's Leadership Forum event in New York, thirty of us sat around Hillary, talking about politics. And she said, 'You know, I love this organization, not just because we sit around and talk about politics, but because of the bonds of friendship forming around us.' The way she said it, people were riveted by her performance. But I had gotten to know her, and I could tell she didn't mean it. She has this unbelievable ability to be a liar. She is soulless." -- Edward Klein
CBS News has exposed Hillary in another lie about her trip to Bosnia. You can watch the news clip below:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Record Snowfall

Global warming is continuing to hit us hard here in Michigan. It has been reported that this winter has set a record for snowfall since 1880, when they started keeping track of such things. We've had 85 inches of the white stuff so far. Another inch of snow is being predicted tonight and tomorrow, a chance of snow on Saturday, and the month of April averages 2.5 inches of snowfall. We may approach 90 inches by Mother's Day!

I was informed by the librarian today that all the snow was my fault, because I had checked out a book on snow last week, that was on my daughter's book list for school. As I turned it back in today, I told her I would check out a book on Spring if it would help.

Here's a picture of the snow falling last Friday evening.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Has come!

The video that I posted on Good Friday stopped too soon. I found the conclusion to Dr. Lockridge's sermon ... here is the rest of the story:

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it's Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn't the only thing that was shaking because now it's Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb. Yes, it's Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it's Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It's Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave. It's Sunday. And now everything has changed. It's the age of grace, God's grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it's Sunday.

It's Friday! But Sunday's a Coming!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Friday, But Sunday's Comin'

As a child, I remember my pastor, Rev. Gary Brugger, sharing a portion of a sermon called "It's Friday, But Sunday's Comin'." Thanks to Google and You Tube, I have found the sermon by Rev. S. M. Lockridge, later popularized by Tony Campolo. We can surely be thankful for Sunday!

Good Friday Meditations

I just wanted to share some thoughts on Good Friday that I shared a few years during a Good Friday service.

Who Killed Jesus?

  1. The Jewish Leaders
    • There were the chief priests, called Annas and Caiaphas, who thoroughly disliked what Jesus was doing and who were delighted to get their hands on him and make up some accusations against him.
    • When Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, He angered the Pharisees and they sought to kill Him. John chapter 7 is riddled with talk of the Jews intentions to seize and kill Jesus (Jn. 7:1,19, 30, 32, 44).
    • Over and over in the story of Jesus, the Jews make known their desire to put Him to death, culminating in their stirring up the crowd at His trial, and declaring, “His blood shall be on us and on our children.” Peter also places blame on the Jews in the first sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:36).
    • Clearly, the Jewish leaders are responsible for the death of Jesus, but it does not end there.
  2. Judas
    • Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. He gave Jesus away to the temple guards so they could arrest him. He made plans, “the one I kiss” he said, “is Jesus”.
    • Surely, Judas was responsible for Jesus being killed.
  3. Pilate
    • He saw no good reason to put Jesus to death but still gave in to the shouts of the crowd.
    • Pilate would argue his innocence, for he washed his hands and declared, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.”
    • But Pilate was one person with the power to release Jesus or to crucify Him. That Pilate was so spineless as to let the crowd sway his decision does not excuse him for his part in the death of Jesus.
  4. The Roman Soldiers
    • They were the ones who mocked Jesus and beat Him and finally nailed him to the cross.
    • The Roman executioners have never denied blame in the death of Jesus. That was their job. They killed people, and the gospels detail the physical pain and indignities suffered by Jesus at the hands of Roman soldiers.
    • Pilate and the Romans were the governing authorities of the day, and as such were the only ones with the right to execute, so their guilt in crucifying Jesus is obvious.
  5. The Crowd
    • They shouted that they wanted a known criminal called Barabbas set free, not Jesus; and they shouted for Jesus to be crucified.
    • They convinced Pilate to turn him over. They shouted time and time again, “Crucify Him.” They even accepted the guilt by saying, “let His blood be on us and on our children.”
    • But it’s not good enough for us to blame these people who lived over 2,000 years ago. The Jews, Pilate and the Romans are merely instruments in the death of Jesus. The people who really killed Jesus include us. It was because of sin that Jesus had to die, and that means that, ultimately it is sinners who are responsible for the death of Jesus.
    • However, it is easy to state that sinners are the ones who killed Jesus, while thinking of “really bad sinners,” like murderers, rapists and child molesters. In other words, it is easy to blame particularly heinous criminals and deny our own guilt in the death of Jesus.
    • The fact is that if the death of Jesus is going to mean anything in my life, then a search for His killers must culminate in a good, hard look in the mirror.
    • Listen to Isaiah 53:4-6 -- I will be subsitituting personal pronouns for the collective ones to make it more personal. Listen to as if you were reading it as well … Surely he took up MY infirmities and carried MY sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for MY transgressions, he was crushed for MY iniquities; the punishment that brought ME peace was upon him, and by his wounds I AM healed. I, like sheep, have gone astray, I have turned to MY own way; and the Lord has laid on him MY iniquity.
    • These verses make it pretty clear that Jesus would have had to die for me, no matter what the rest of the world was like.
Who killed Jesus? I did. You did. We all had a part in it. And so we want to tell Jesus three things:

  1. we want to tell him how sorry we are for our sins;
  2. we want to tell him how much we love him and are thankful for his death on the cross;
  3. and we want to tell him that we want to follow him from now on.

Sleeping In Church Began When?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

Today begins an exciting few weeks for all college basketball fans. How many of you have filled out a bracket? Who do you have going to the Final Four? Did you choose with your head or your heart? I filled out two brackets ... one with what I want to happen ... WV Mountaineers going winning the championship, and one with what I think will more likely to happen, WV going the Elite 8. It is incredible that WV has done so well this year. Last year they won the NIT Championship, and their coach, John Belein, moved to Michigan. Bob Huggins, whose coaching style is the opposite of Belien's has taken this team to a new level. Picked to finish 10th in the Big East, WVU finished 5th. Look for the Mountaineers to surprise a few people with a deep run in this year's tournament.

If you haven't filled out a bracket yet, Yahoo! has an easy to use bracket available. If you are a pastor, Jon Earls has started a group for you. There's not much time left, so you'd better hurry if you want to join. Here's the link to his blog.

Let's Gooooooo ... Mountaineers!

Theological Worldview Quiz

I took a theology quiz a few days ago, I tested out as an "Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan." Seeing as how I pastor in conservative holiness church whose denomination's mission statement is to "spread scriptural holiness across the land," I am glad I didn't score in the "Modern Liberal" category, or else I may have been excommunicated!

Why don't you take the quiz yourself, to see where your theological worldview falls. Come back and leave a comment, and let me know how you scored.

Here are my results:

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Reformed Evangelical


Neo orthodox




Roman Catholic




Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Welcome To Another Perspective

During the last several months, I have been using our family blog, Hilling Highlights, to discuss several non-family issues, namely politics. The time has come to branch out and start a new blog for the discussion of politics, sports, news, and other interests I have such as pastoring.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.