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