Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Change of Heart

Years ago, when the Affirmative Action law was passed, the company I worked for conducted sensitivity training for employees. This was to prepare us for the anticipated influx of women and minorities. The trainer said to us, “The purpose of this training is not to change your heart, although we hope it happens. We can’t change your heart, but we can change your behavior. And your behavior will change.”

That trainer was right. Only God can change a person’s heart, but the person must be willing to be changed. The failure of worldly ways of changing hearts (and often behavior as well) has been demonstrated in recent events. The most obvious recent event involves Donald Sterling, who, in a private telephone conversation, came across as racist (see future post for more on this). Some celebrities have said demeaning things about women recently, and rap music often degrades women as well.

It seems that no amount of political correctness or cultural pressure can change people’s hearts. This country needs a change of heart that can only be done by God:

1. Most importantly, we need to turn back to God, and take seriously the motto on our money: “In God We Trust.”

2. We then need to return to the values that made this country great – not perfect – but great. Only God can do that.

3. If we’ve done these first two things, then mostly everything else will fall into place that needs to be corrected if those who come to God take their faith seriously and follow the Scriptures.

4. Finally, we need to change our culture from one of crudeness, materialism, self-centeredness and excess to one that reflects good values. We tolerate entirely too much violence, sex, nudity, and the occult in the media and games.

Let’s face it. This country is a mess. We are heavily in debt, we have a dysfunctional Congress that is incapable of action, we have a serious substance abuse problem, our economy is weak, and we have lost status in the world. We continue to turn away from God just at the time we need some divine intervention. Let’s not sit back and let a few militant atheists and misguided judges eliminate God from our nation. Let we the people set the agenda and may it be one of faith, hope, and charity.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Putin's Folly

It has been estimated that Putin supposedly spent over $51 billion to build the Olympic facilities in Sochi to show the world that Russia is a 21st century modern country. Putin, wanting Russia to take its place among the progressive nations of the world, put on quite a show at the winter Olympics. Following the Sochi extravaganza, Putin pulled back the curtain of modernity by his invasion of Ukraine, revealing that Russia is in reality still back in the bad old days in terms of its imperialist thinking. It’s a shame that Russian expansionism appears to be alive and well. As a result, it appears that Russia under Putin is not ready to take its place among the leading nations of the world. Putin just wasted $51 billion of goodwill by his Hitler-like land grabs.

Mr. Putin: read your Bible. It says we shouldn’t covet (desire, lust after) another’s goods or wife, nor should we steal them. Putin covets part or all of Ukraine and he’s in the process of stealing them. Let us pray for the nation and people of the Ukraine, and also pray that Putin will pull out his troops and won’t make any more land grabs. Also pray that there won’t be any bloodshed. While we’re at it, let’s not forget the people of Syria as well. We pray that the 21st century will be one of peace and tranquility in which nation will no longer rise up against nation.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Right Is in Denial

The Right does not want to recognize reality, and as a result, they are looking like complete fools to the rest of the world. Anything the Left says, even if it’s obviously true, the Right will contradict it. It’s really getting to be ridiculous. One area where the Right is in complete denial has to do with climate change. Now I know it is a controversial issue, particularly regarding its cause. However, there is enough data to clearly demonstrate that some sort of climate change is taking place. I also know that statistics can be manipulated, and that there is a lot of junk science out there as well. Nevertheless, I believe there is enough data showing that something is definitely happening to the planet. Yet the Right consistently denies it.

I don’t think the Right should debate what is occurring, but what are the causes. Since the Industrial Revolution got underway, humans have been spewing all kinds of smoke and pollution into the atmosphere. In the late 20th century, with China and India becoming more industrialized, more and more pollutants ended up in the air. Common sense tells you that there is a human element to climate change by the sheer volume of what’s released into the atmosphere each day. I believe we have overwhelmed the atmosphere’s ability to cleanse itself, and as a result, more pollution stays in the air, causing climate change. There are other causes, such as El NiƱo, natural atmospheric cycles, and cutting down the rainforests, but it makes sense to attack the one obvious cause: man-made pollution from factories, power plants, and cars and trucks.

We must reduce this pollution if for no other reason than we shouldn’t be breathing it in! Forget about climate change – I don’t want to breathe that stuff in and get lung cancer, COPD, or some other terrible disease. Of course it can’t be just the United States and Western Europe that should invest in pollution controls. Other industrialized nations such as China, India, Russia, Japan, Korea, and Brazil must also do their part in reducing pollution significantly.

So I wish the Right would wake up and not be in denial. They are just making themselves look foolish.

On another topic, the Republicans should not focus on repealing Obamacare, but should strive to make adjustments to improve it. That program is seriously flawed but with some substantial adjustments, I believe it could turn out to be beneficial. The Democrats should take a hard look at Obamacare and realize that improvements must be made for the good of the country. Every government program has unintended consequences, and they should be addressed before too much harm is done. One glaringly necessary adjustment is tort reform. That alone would significantly reduce the cost of medical care in this country.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

De Blasio’s Support for Israel

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t appeal to me because he is too far to the Left for my taste. I didn’t like the way he handled the charter schools issue, and his “tale of two cities” rhetoric is somewhat divisive and fosters an “us versus them” mentality. He pretty much marches in lockstep with the Progressive agenda.

But I read recently that the Mayor is not in complete lockstep with Progressive doctrine. He is very much pro-Israel, which runs contrary to mainstream liberal doctrine. As a matter of fact, de Blasio has taken a lot of heat from his fellow progressives on that subject. A lot of ugly things were said about him by his fellow lefties, even though he’s about as far left as you can get. So my opinion of the Mayor has changed somewhat, and I applaud him for acting on his conscience rather than towing the line of his fellow liberals on this important topic.

The harsh criticism of de Blasio by the Left has demonstrated once again what a harsh taskmaster political correctness is. There is little room for matters of conscience or individual thinking in the PC world. We see this oppression on university campuses, which are supposed to be bastions of free speech and exchange of ideas. The fact that the Left is so doctrinaire tells me that the terms Liberal and Progressive are misnomers. Moreover, the key virtue of the Left, Tolerance, is nowhere to be seen. Even within their own, there is very little tolerance of ideas or beliefs that run contrary in every aspect to mainstream political correctness.

I wanted to point out this contradiction so that you don’t get sucked in to political correctness, although it is very hard to avoid these days. I still believe in acting on your conscience and not being told what to think or do. Sometimes I get the feeling we are living the novels “Brave New World” and “1984” with the PC mavens acting as the thought police. In the meantime, let’s give the mayor credit for supporting Israel.

By the way, that doesn’t mean anybody who is pro-Israel agrees with all of the policies of that government. It simply means that we believe Israel has a right to exist. I believe I’ve written one or more posts on Israel in the past, but I think I will write another one soon. Most people are woefully ignorant of the recent history of that nation. Once you know a little something of its 20th century history, you’ll change your attitude towards that tiny nation.

Lest you think I’m picking on just the Left, see a future post for my criticism of the Right.