Category Archives: Government

ACT of VALOR

Was just sent this trailer to a new movie coming out in February 2012 about Navy Seals and Special Forces. It’s exceptional because it seems like it will accurately profile the current tactics, strategies, and people serving our great country.

Synopsis

An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism. Inspired by true events, the film combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure.

EU Banning Toys Instead of Focusing on the Important Stuff

I would say that the EU is putting more time on child toy oversight than they are on Social and Immigration Issues. Will American follow in the way it is beginning to regulate consumers and businesses?

“All teddie bears meant for children under the age of three will now have to be fully washable because EU regulators are concerned that dirty cuddly toys could spread disease and infection.”

“British toy manufacturers are concerned that the new rules, which include defining colouring books and anything played with by under-14s, could drive up the price of Christmas presents because of the cost of safety tests.”

“You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it,” said an official.

From: http://www.readability.com/articles/72v4oqmn

Christians Persecuted Even More

In case you haven’t heard, our already corrupt world is filled with acts of hate by Muslims. Not only can we read about a mass rape in the Congo in which 240 dear women were harmed horrifically, now there is this story of Christians being excluded from aid in the flooded areas of Pakistan. In fact, local governments are routing the flood waters away from Muslim landowners and into Christian and lower-class villages without warning. Below are snippets from the story, or read the whole article here: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/72113

Christians in Pakistan’s flood-hit regions are doubly affected by the disaster as a result of anti-Christian discrimination by government relief workers and Muslim aid agencies, according to representatives of the embattled minority.

According to the Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), Muslim relief organizations and government agencies have been denying assistance to Christians affected by the flooding in Punjab province.

The PCC organ Pakistan Christian Post described the southern Punjab was a “hotbed” of extremist organizations which view Christians as “infidels.” It said local officials in fear of the radical elements were barring Christians from tent camps for flood victims.

On Killing Our President

As soon as I saw it, I wanted to comment on this ridiculous Facebook bit:

Dear Lord,
This year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayzie (sic). You took my favorite actress, Farah Fawcett. You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson. I just wanted to let you know, my favorite president is Barack Obama. Amen.

Problem was, when I read it, I literally got sick at my stomach. I took it as a direct threat on our President and our very nation. As a democracy, we have the right to choose our leader and we chose President Obama. I don’t know that I agree with any of The President’s current policies except his environmental ones. Still, even if we don’t agree with the President we simply MUST respect the office. If we don’t honor the Presidency then we have chaos and our national freedom erodes.

Thankfully, a writer friend of mine found the words I didn’t have over here (click). Here is a preview of what she had to say:

My question is this: How is that different from what John Wilkes Booth wanted? How is that different from what Lee Harvey Oswald wanted? Hundreds of cells of Islamic extremists would cheer with jubilation to see this – or any – American president shot in the street.

Lastly, have you ever noticed how former Presidents reference the sitting President as “The President” or “Mr. President”? Have you noticed how the First Lady of the sitting President always references her husband as “Mr. President” or “The President”? This shows the respect the office deserves. It seems to me that if someone like John McCain can find it fit to honor the office that his political enemy holds after beating him out for the position, we should too.

I also like the history lesson Wikipedia offers:

When George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States in 1789, he initially used the style, “His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties,” a title elaborated by the Joint Congressional Committee on titles over the course of a month. Critics charged that it smacked of monarchy. Washington consented to the demands of James Madison and the United States House of Representatives that the title be altered to “Mr. President.”

So, why all the fuss? Because our freedom deserves our honor and not our cynicism. You don’t have to like The President, but you do have to live with him.

Texas and 32 States Challenge Handgun Bans

State attorneys general from 33 states, including Texas, have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that says state and local handgun bans violate the Second Amendment. The brief, submitted by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot on behalf of the other states, asks the court to hear a legal challenge against the handgun ban in the city of Chicago, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The attorneys general filed the brief in support of plaintiffs seeking to reverse a decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which upheld that ban. The Supreme Court struck down a similar ban in Washington, D.C., in 2008, but did not make clear in their ruling whether or not the Second Amendment protection only applies to the federal government. The brief asks the court to affirm Second Amendment protections extend nationwide, according to the paper.

“If the Second Amendment applies exclusively to the federal government, many Americans may find their constitutional right to arms severely compromised or entirely abrogated by local regulations,” the brief said. “Without this court?s review, millions of Americans may be deprived of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as a result of actions by local governments, such as the ordinances challenged in this case,” the brief stated.

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The above was sent to me by the Texas Trophy Hunters association, so I am passing it along.

Texas Teachers Pack a Pistol

I don’t go a week at work without someone referencing my Texas origin. I think they think I like to talk about it. Sure, it is something I am incredibly proud of, just as any true Texan is. As hard as non-Texans try to get their head around what Texas is really like, they tend to fall back to long persisting stereotypes (some of which are somewhat negative).

Overall, I don’t mind this kind of conjecture, but it occurred to me that bringing some folks up to speed on WHY everything is bigger and better in Texas might be useful. So I offer this and some future posts on the topic of Texas.

I have written about Texans being a well-armed people. And there is the talk that open carry (openly carrying a firearm in public) may come back to Texas. Don’t get the wrong idea and think Texas is the “the wild west” and full of chaos or lack of order. Far from the truth. Texas is a state full of nice people who generally are laid back and generous; preferring to lend a hand before swinging a fist. Still, Texans just aren’t wild about the idea of wrong-minded people interrupting our peace and safety.

So, I thought I would cross-post this article I read on the Ft. Worth Star Telegram website about a school district giving teachers the right to conceal carry handguns. This may give you a hair of insight into some Texas mentality. Here is a snippet to get you started:

When classes start Aug. 25 in the tiny Harrold school district, there will be one distinct difference from years prior: Some of the teachers may have guns. To deter and protect against school shootings, trustees have altered district policy to allow employees to carry concealed weapons if they have a state permit and permission from the administration. The 110-student district lies 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.

More than a dozen state legislatures have considered making it legal to carry guns on college campuses, but experts and officials contacted by the Star-Telegram say the move is unheard of in elementary or secondary schools.

Superintendent David Thweatt said a main concern was that the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection.

The district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target, Thweatt said.

<snip>

“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started,” Thweatt said. “Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ‘sic ’em’ to a dog.”

Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses “unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution.”

A New Job and Neighborhood

Word is starting to get out a bit that I have resigned my position with Stonebriar Community Church this week and accepted a position with the 30th largest church in the US. We wanted to let all of you know this as early in the process as possible, but also had some details to work out before I could make things official. I have been away from consistent blogging for awhile so that I could get this life decision made.

Where is this?

Christ Fellowship in West Palm Beach, Florida offered me a CIO type role that was just too awesome to not consider. After a rapid, yet extensive interview process, Ashley and I came to the same conclusion as Christ Fellowship that God had created an amazing fit between what they need in a technology leader and what God has made me to do. I will initially manage a department of 6-8 folks doing everything from programming to helpdesk to data warehousing. The team is pretty junior, but very talented none the less. Really a good group to be able to mentor.

What will you be doing, exactly?

For some of the more technology challenged readers, I will try to boil this down for you. I will manage a team of people who keep the email working, the files storing, the computers healthy, the data safe, the website updated, the member contact information reportable, the videos playing, the telephones working, etc.

In addition to these regular Church IT duties, I will be helping the church navigate the technology waters to a place of understanding how technology can be leveraged to improve the way they do the Christian life together. Whether this is through a better website that connects people with each other, systems that help improve the discipleship of church members, or an intranet for better communication within the staff, the goal of the position will be to partner with the other executives to champion technology projects that are sponsored internally. I am a change agent for technology within a church who already loves change and technology. What could be more fun?

Are You Moving?

Well yes we are. Believe it or not, God’s call on our life in this case was so strong it is making us give up our Texas residence. Leaving our friends, family, and this great State of Texas (Long live the Republic) were about the only downsides of this ministry move. We are seriously grieving moving to the beach. Some of our friends are just laughing in our pitiful faces and saying, “There are a lot worse places to serve the Lord. It could be Africa or a Peanut Farm!” Thank you Jesus it isn’t both! And they are right, West Palm Beach is about the most affluent place you can be a church worker. Living in constant good weather and around nice things shouldn’t be such a pain. We just love what we have here. We are comfortable. We are fully supported.
Some scripture came to mind in this that haunted us a bit:

Mathew 16: 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

Mark 1: 16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said. 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

When is this happening?

My last day of work at Stonebriar is August 10th and my first day of work with Christ Fellowship is August 13th. I will work remotely for three weeks. We will move over Labor Day weekend, with my first day on site being September 3rd. “There is a lot left to do” is an understatement of understatements.

With this having happened this week, I have heaps more to say about this, but it will have to wait cause I am out of time for today. We’ll write more soon.

One Bold Take on the Virginia Tech Shootings

We don’t yet know the stories of heroism or bravery which happened today at Virginia Tech during the shootings. We may never know. In that classroom full of kids, there may not have been any brave souls who ventured to take on the lone shooter without a weapon of their own. There may *have* been. We simply don’t know.

In addition to today, two local events here and here have made me re-think personal safety and my ideas of preparedness for an attack. Please don’t get me wrong, this post is not some boast that looks down my nose at the victims of these tragedies. I can not say with any surety what I would do in these same situations. I would like to think I can put myself in a position to at-least cause harm to the other party, if not be able to come out unscathed. But again, who knows what we would do were we to face a violent attack by someone intent on ending our life, freedom, or dignity.

One thing I can say today is that I am glad I bought that gun I mentioned over this past weekend. I am glad because without an equivalent method of force to what an attacker will bring, I don’t seem to stand a chance… even at my 260 lb. weight and 6’4″ frame. I am just a bigger, slower target than the next guy. I am glad also that I got mine now, before another gun-prohibition is introduced by the democrat-controlled congress who themselves seem to be determined to reduce or remove my Constitutional, 2nd Amendment right “to keep and bear Arms“. I am glad I live in a country where most of the population are reasonable people that understand the vehicle or device utilized in a massacre like todays isn’t the object which kills people, but the depraved and desperate individuals using those things to do ungodly things are at fault.

What if just one of those 30 college students had a gun with them at the time of the shooting today? Would anything have been different? If any two students had carried a pistol concealed to class, and they knew how to use them, surely things would have been a lot different. Unless those two students are both in the first 8-14 persons killed (unlikely), at-least one of them should be able to get a shot off that wounds the coward enough to have other students jump on him and get the gun away from him. Or, maybe it gives the other students the bravery they need to hurl books at the satanist. Or maybe another student picks up the pistol another student falls dead to the ground holding in order to do their part to end the brutality. Again, we don’t know the circumstances of today, but more guns in the hands of the good-guys couldn’t have hurt on this sad Monday.

I am not afraid to say that if I knew I had a good chance of dieing by doing nothing, I would much rather have a gun that gives me a chance of living by doing something… even if it means a few of my best-attempted shots are errant and kill other individuals who in this kind of attack are likely to become victims anyway. That is a hard, gross problem to consider. But my perspective is the more sane, humane, trained, and willing people who have guns on their persons, the fewer lives that will be lost in all kinds of violent crimes. In all states that allow it, concealed handguns deter/lower violent crime. In the events of today, all we could have hoped for with students who concealed carry would have been a quicker end to something destined to be a tragedy regardless.

God help us all. We need it.