Saturday, August 30, 2008

More on Palin

We're already beginning to see the Democrat response to McCain's running mate. The argument, as everyone anticipated, is that she's too inexperienced. Let me just say that I sincerely hope the Obama team continues down this path. It's difficult to say the word 'inexperience' without Barack Obama's name falling out right behind it. The irony is thick.

Please, Mr. Axelrod, keep talking about Sarah Palin's experience. Even your average ignorant voter will realize that, though she's been in politics for a relatively short time, the fact that she's been the governor of the largest state in the union for even 2 years gives her more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined. There's a reason very few senators make it to the White House - most of them have never had to run anything, much less the largest economy, military, and government bureacracy on the face of the planet.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Fox News is now confirming, via "sources within the McCain camp", that Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, has been chosen as John McCain's running mate. If this is indeed the case, then I have to hand it to McCain. This came out of nowhere...very few were giving Palin any chance as late as yesterday evening, and the blogosphere has been literally buzzing all morning. The cable news networks have been totally distracted from Obama's speech last night, and every one of them is talking about this incredible move by McCain.

I love this pick! Palin ticks all the boxes - the timing and out-of-left-field nature of this choice seriously upstages Obama when he was getting very good coverage after the speech, she helps McCain appeal to many of Hillary's discouraged supporters by simply being female, she will help to reassure the conservative base that they will be represented on this ticket, she's young, has (limited, but still more than Obama and Biden combined) executive experience as governor, and she's pretty much got to be the hottest VP ever!

This pick will energize the base, myself included, as no other choice could have done. She's relatively unknown, but the more conservatives get to know her, the more they will love her. Here's a little bit from her Wikipedia bio:
  1. She's married to Todd, a native Yup'ik Eskimo, and one of her sons is about to be deployed to Iraq. She also has 3 daughters, and recently gave birth to another son who has Downs Syndrome.

  2. She loves to hunt, ice-fish, snomobile, and is a lifetime member of the NRA.

  3. She helped expose and rid Alaska's government of corrupt, pork-fat politicians within her own party.

  4. She is a stong supporter of drilling in ANWR, and is staunchly pro-life.

This is very good news for conservatives and John McCain. I can't wait to see what happens to Obama's little "bump" in the polls.

The Obama Speech

What an inspiring, well-delivered articulation of Jimmy Carter's policies. Obama continues to impress with his ability to make college kids and celebrities weep with eloquent references to socialist and populist policies that they think the rest of America will embrace now that they have a handsome, charismatic "framer" for their ideas.

And let's not forget the media - they were cheering just as loudly as the teenie-boppers. Oh, I'm sure we'll see them shouting and clapping during John McCain's acceptance speech as well. They are, after all, professional journalists. (, I wouldn't start holding your breath just yet). For those who couldn't bear to listen to his drivel, continuously interupted by his adoring worshippers, the gist of his speech was as follows:

"Tired of paying a lot for gas? Don't want to continue paying your mortgage? Sick of having to pay for the best healthcare system in the world? Angry about corporations making a profit? Sick of people trying to limit your right to use abortion as birth-control? Don't have the stomach to finish a war against evil?

Well, just elect me and it'll all go away! I am, after all, the messiah. See how inspiring my voice sounds when I say everything really loud? It doesn't matter how I plan to accomplish any of this. We all know the government can solve all of these problems for us. It won't even really affect most of you out there tonight. Most of you either don't pay any taxes at all, or are rich enough that the highest tax increase in history wouldn't even make a dent. The only people we'll stick it to are small business owners and people who work for a living - and they're all Republicans anyway!

So, vote for me and we'll all return to the days of Jimmy Carter! Oh, and McCain sucks and is really just George Bush in a whiter, cancer-ridden costume...seriously.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Week in Politics

Well, blogging time took a hit over the last couple of weeks as I struggled to meet a deadline at the day job. Of course, as is usually the case, all that work and stress came to a rather anti-climactic end as the deadline was pushed back anyway. So I thought I'd take a look at what I wasn't able to comment on over the last few days:

First of all, The One's pick of Joe Biden as his running mate was excellent news for John McCain and the GOP. Biden has been on the record saying what a poor president Obama would make - although "clean and articulate, for a black guy" - and the guy is a walking gaffe machine. This also opens the door for McCain to really help himself with his VP pick. The Democratic ticket has absolutely no executive experience whatsoever - two senators who have never run a local or state government, or even a business for pete's sake! Obama's only experience in anything outside of politics was as a "community organizer" - I think we all know what that really means.

The Democratic Convention has also provided plenty of entertainment for those of us on the other side of things. His Supreme Obamaness has apparently built a temple to himself at Invesco Field, where adoring worshippers will bow before his, basketball skills?, fitness? cleanliness? Rumor has it that his ascension to the presidency will finally occur. He certainly seems to think that he is owed the job. We're now getting word that a full scale replica of Air Force One will also be part of the show tonight. Oh, please let this be true! This man's arrogance truly is a sight to behold.

Apparently, Nancy Pelosi had no idea that the church she claims to be a member of was so serious about their opposition to abortion. She received a pretty harsh, but appropriate lesson in Catholic theology earlier this week. You know, there's a reason the Dems have stayed away from talking about faith in recent hasn't worked out real well for any of them lately either.

And finally, it looks like we'll find out who McCain's VP will be either later this evening or tomorrow. I can't decide who I'd like to see as VP. Redstate has endorsed Eric Cantor, and I'd certainly be pleased with him as a true conservative and excellent attack dog against Obama/Biden, but he doesn't really take advantage of the experience issue. I think Pawlenty and Romney would also be good choices as both have executive experience, but both also come with their own problems. Kay Bailey Hutchison is a name that has popped up around the blogosphere today, but she's not pro-life, and that is a deal-breaker for a lot of folks.

I would love to see the name "leaked" on the same night as Obama's sermon/ascension. This could be very entertaining. Unfortunately, college football starts tonight with South Carolina v. N.C. State, so I'll have read about this stuff tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


As a structural engineer, I've received a lot of questions from friends and relatives about the collapse of the World Trade Center towers back on 9/11. I never was convinced by any of the arguments put forth by conspiracy theorists concerning the collapse of the buildings. The report released by the NIST provided a perfectly legitimate explanation for the collapse of the towers.

The attack occured while I was still in engineering school, so I could hardly have called myself an expert at the time. However, disregarding any of the expertise I have gained in the years that followed as a practicing engineer, I have yet to read from any legitimate expert on structural engineering, construction, demolition, or any other related field who agreed with any of the claims of the "truthers." That, in itself, made me automatically suspicious of any claims for conspiracy. Oh sure, there have been plenty of folks with Ph.D.'s behind their names claiming to have "proven" that the collapse of the towers had to have been caused by controlled demolition explosives, but dig a little deeper and you'll find that these "experts" are college professors with knowledge about many valuable things...cold fusion, economics...but certainly not structural engineering or construction.

We now have an official report from NIST on the collapse of WTC 7, the smaller building adjacent to the two towers. This building sustained damage from the collapse of the twin towers, and eventually experienced a catastrophic failure itself. Many of those behind the "President Bush Authorized and Planned 9/11" movement pointed to the collapse of this building, which was not directly damaged by either plane, as an indication that foul play was involved. After reading through a synopsis of the report and looking at the engineers' methods of analysis and creation of the original structure's model, I see nothing to cause suspicion.

In a nutshell, falling debris from the collapse of the adjacent towers ignited fires on at least 10 floors within the WTC 7 structure. Because of the fact that the original collapse disabled the water main, the sprinkler systems in WTC 7 did not function, causing some of these fires to burn uncontrolled for up to 7 hours. Despite what many of our esteemed "experts" would have you think, uncontrolled office fires can produce enough heat to cause significant thermal expansion within long-span floor framing systems. (These fires burned between 570 and 1100 F, temperatures which would have certainly caused significant thermal expansion, and even a reduction in strength and stiffness at the upper range). Most beam-to-column connections are not designed to resist the lateral loads induced by thermal expansion, so a failure occured at one of the critical columns, causing a progressive collapse. This link answers many of the questions raised by some of our previously mentioned conspiracy theorists.

That's not to say that there aren't some issues I'd like to investigate further. As mentioned in the report, this is the first known case of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building. That's a pretty big development for structural engineers, as we're generally more concerned with wind, earthquakes, and typical service loads. It'll be interesting to see what changes are made in the building codes over the next few years to address this issue.

Liberals & Conservatives: All about maturity

I haven't had much time lately to check out things in the political realm, but I have to comment on the difference between liberal and conservative activists. You very rarely see conservative protestors showing their rear ends in truly childish fashion, as we've already seen in Denver after one day of the Democratic Convention, but that's something that's fairly common among the more leftward leaning groups. Why is it that conservatives tend to keep their rear ends to themselves?

I have a number of theories, but I believe this may have something to do with another of my observations concerning liberal activists. One only need look at the typical professions and/or life stations occupied by those of the liberal persuasion to find a rather obvious trend. Let's see, we have college professors, college students and recent graduates, and celebrities. In other words, people who have had very little exposure to life in the real world. Liberal ideology works very well in the classroom, and generally is met with either apathy or idealistic naivete by students who have yet to try and live on their own. So college profs are usually insulated from any kind of legitimate challenge to their ideas, and certainly rarely need to actually put them into practice.

Celebs are probably the easiest example to explain. They live in a world completely isolated from the problems we ordinary men and women face. Movie stars play make-believe all day, so it's not all that difficult to begin actually believing that we can just throw out all the oil and *poof* ourselves up some alternative fuel technology.

So, why is it that liberals tend to pitch obscenity-filled tantrums when they don't get their way? Sure, most conservatives have actual jobs and families that occupy the time that could otherwise be spent so valuably. But, I'd say it has something to do with the maturity that comes through years of putting others before oneself. It's no surprise that most people who spend enough time in the real world become more conservative over time. You begin to see that all those idealistic solutions to the world's problems have been tried and tried for thousands of years, all with the same result.

Head over and check out more of these hilarious photos from absentee's Flickr page.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Birthday Girl

Blogging has been light this week due to a deadline at the office, but I have to post a Happy Birthday wish to my now 10-year-old daughter. I cannot believe it's been 10 years since I first laid eyes on BabySue. Happy Birthday, Tay!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2008 Phelps Games

I've really enjoyed the olympics this time around. I didn't think I would. Most of the 'sports' are incredibly lame when you think about it, but for some reason I just can't stop watching women's handball and the hardcore jocks of China's badminton program. I fully intended to do my best to ignore the games this time around - partly because of the Chi-Coms, but also because the olympic committee seems intent on eliminating all sports that American athletes dominate.

But every night when we go off to bed, I lay there trying to read my book in peace, and all I can hear in the background is Bob Costas humping Michael Phelps' leg. I'm pretty sure NBC has filed a petition to rename our nation's capital after the guy - just so they can keep saying his name after the games are over. It's no wonder NBC are seriously worried about their ratings now that Phelps is done dominating the pool. Track and field will take the spotlight now, but the Americans can't keep up with the Jamaicans - no one can. There must be something in the, water...down there.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Saddleback Forum

First of all, let me say that my fears about the Saddleback forum were for the most part unrealized. I think, all things considered, that was about as good as we could have expected from this kind of event. I want to say that I'm proud of Rick Warren for not avoiding the issue of abortion, and Obama's answer to the abortion question was very revealing for any pro-life voter.
Warren: "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?"

Obama: "Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade...[several minutes of posturing and dancing around any actual answer to the question]...I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe V. Wade and come to that conclusion not because I am pro-abortion, but because ultimately I don't think women make these decisions casually...[bold-faced lie about making the Democrat Party platform less radical on abortion and typical liberal drivel about keeping abortion 'rare']..."
Thank you, Pastor Warren, for forcing the Obamessiah into revealing his atypical, ultra-liberal-wanting-to-win-a-national-election abortion stance: "I am personally against abortion, but don't have the courage to stand against it." What if William Wilberforce had taken the same approach to slavery? Obama's answer to this question reveals how out of touch he is with the evengelical community on a very important issue.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Visitors From La-La Land

You gotta love old hippie singers. It seems to me that whenever God decides to grant someone musical or artistic talent, he throws something else in their psyche a little bit "off", just to make it fair. I'm not one to question the Maker, but it really makes it difficult for me to enjoy some of their genuinely good music when they can't keep their mouths shut about stuff outside of their own little fantasy land.

Apparently Jackson Brown joined the rest of us in the real world (well, Los Angeles, anyway) just long enough to sue John McCain for using one of his songs in a commercial. That's very mature. "I don't like you, so you can't play my song! Nanner-nanner-nanner!" I thought these people were supposed to be the champions of tolerance and freedom of expression?

Oh, right. That's only for people who agree with them.

More on Saddleback

I've really been trying to reserve judgement for the much anticipated Saddleback forum until after it takes place. For those of us who have been hoping and praying that Rick Warren would use this high-profile event to advance the Kingdom will not have our confidence boosted by this news.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Obama camp insisted on Faith In Public Life being included in the process as a condition for his participation. They certainly represent his version of Christianity. I'm really trying to give Warren the benefit of the doubt here, but I'm becoming less optimistic by the day.

Evangelicals & Politics

There is a very interesting study out by the Barna Group concerning voters and their presidential candidate preferences. I recommend that you read the entire study, as it gives some very good insight into why people are supporting their candidate of choice. But the most interesting aspect of the study is the fact that the Barna Group shows McCain with a huge lead (61%-17%) over Obama among evangelicals. Now this certainly doesn't play into the narrative we've been getting from many media outlets over the last few months. I've read countless articles about Obama's supposedly strong support among "evangelicals", but as this study points out, very few surveys bother to determine whether their subjects are truly evangelical.
One of the most frequently reported on groups of voters is evangelicals. Most media polls use a simplistic approach to defining evangelicals, asking survey respondents if they consider themselves to be evangelical. Barna Group surveys, on the other hand, ask a series of nine questions about a person’s religious beliefs in order to determine if they are an evangelical. The differences between the two approaches are staggering.

Using the common approach of allowing people to self-identify as evangelicals, 40% of adults classify themselves as such. Among them, 83% are likely to vote in November. Among the self-reported evangelicals who are likely to vote, John McCain holds a narrow 39% to 37% lead over Sen. Obama. Nearly one-quarter of this segment (23%) is still undecided about who they will vote for.

Using the Barna approach of studying people’s core religious beliefs produces a very different outcome. Just 8% of the adult population qualifies as evangelical based on their answers to the nine belief questions. Among that segment, a significantly higher proportion (90%) is likely to vote in November, and Sen. McCain holds a huge lead (61%-17%) over the Democratic nominee. Overall, just 14% of this group remains undecided regarding their candidate of choice.
This certainly ties in to something I wrote about several weeks ago, when I noted a Pew survey which showed that nearly 60% of evangelicals believed that "many religions lead to eternal life." So, if only 8% of the adult population in this country qualifies for Barna's standard of evangelicalism, what kind of standards are they using?
"Born again Christians" are defined as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents are not asked to describe themselves as "born again."

"Evangelicals" meet the born again criteria (described above) plus seven other conditions. Those include saying their faith is very important in their life today; believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon church attendance or the denominational affiliation of the church attended. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as "evangelical."

Non-evangelical born again Christians meet the born again criteria described above, but not the evangelical criteria.
Nearly half the people in this country think of themselves as Christians. But if only 8% can qualify as evangelical by meeting the very basic requirements listed above, which pretty much represent the basic definition of Christianity, we're in bigger trouble than I thought.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rick Warren Goes to Washington

Okay, so it's more like Washington comes to Rick Warren, but you get the idea. I wrote a while back about the two presidential candidates' upcoming appearance at Saddleback. In that post, I wondered whether Rick Warren would have the courage to ask difficult questions of the two candidates, especially concerning Obama's stance on abortion. Well, it looks like I'm not the only one wondering about these things.

Hunter has posted an open letter to Rick Warren over at Redstate, challenging him to force Obama to explain his support for partial birth abortions, his efforts to defeat the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and his support for abortion on demand in general. I realize that the Saddleback forum is supposed to focus on other things like poverty and HIV/AIDS, issues that Warren has been championing within the church for years. But I would have to argue that the issue of infant murder within our own nation is of more importance right now.

In fact, as I pointed out in my previous post, Rick Warren openly encouraged pastors and other leaders to support President Bush in 2004 for this and other reasons. I'm a little confused as to why he doesn't seem to be taking the same stand in this election.

Of course, I'd also love to see Pastor Warren challenge Obama on his embrace of liberal theology and the social gospel, asking questions that would reveal his selective affinity for the red letters over those other inconvenient "obscure passages", but that would probably be asking too much.

He's Back...

It sounds like AM 940 has decided on a permanent host to take over the reigns of the morning talk show. According to the commercials I've been hearing on the radio each morning, the now infamous Chris Kroc, disrespecter of elders and thorn in Elaine Lucas' prodigious side, will bring his abrasive brand of commentary to Macon listeners in the weeks to come. As I said in my earlier post, his style understandably rubs some people the wrong way - especially the older batch of listeners - and he certainly has a knack for stirring the pot. But whether you like him or not, you have to agree that the morning show is about to become very interesting.

Unfortunately, this means the end of Erick's run on the show. His unique insight into the political world, both local and national, will be missed. I hope he'll continue to guest host from time to time.

By the way, it looks like Kroc will have some competition. Kenny Burgamy and Charles Richardson are getting back into the world of morning radio over on 100.9 FM.


Iowa "Republican" Backs Barack Obama.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh, Saxby...

I'm a big supporter of Saxby Chambliss. I may not always agree with him on every issue, but then there are very few politicians who qualify for that high honor, and on the whole I believe he's the right guy for Georgia. He's also a genuinely good guy, and I'll continue to work for his election, which should be a foregone conclusion given his popularity within the state. I do, however, have to lament the timing of his latest efforts at bipartisanship.

Why is it that every time we get a "Gang of ___" conservatives get screwed? Republicans are obviously very poor negotiators, because these bipartisan collaborations always end up with our side surrendering everything for very little in return. The bill proposed by this latest Gang of 10 is no different. Not only does its timing completely undermine the courageous efforts of the House GOP in demanding real solutions NOW, it simply doesn't do enough to provide immediate, comprehensive solutions to our dependence on foreign oil. There is far too much emphasis on funding for 'alternative fuels' research, and far too little in the way of short-term solutions available to us NOW.

I won't get into the political suicide that this bill effectively accomplishes for Republicans. That's been covered, and the senators are getting hammered, over at Redstate and other places for the last few days. But the real world solutions this bill is supposed to offer are simply not good enough. As Erick and others have said, we would be much better off simply allowing the ban of offshore drilling to expire, allowing us to drill everywhere.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Where is Jim Marshall?

I'm a little confused. Our allegedly conservative Democrat congressman, Jim Marshall, claims to support exploration for domestic energy sources. And yet, we're now into the second week of the energy protest in the House, led by two of our truly conservative Georgia congressmen, and Rep. Marshall is still on vacation. Imagine the incredible message that would be sent to the Democratic leadership, as well as the voters of the 8th district of Georgia, if he were to cross this party line and join the demand for a vote on energy exploration.

But Rep. Marshall, by promising to vote for offshore drilling if given the chance, while simultaneously refusing to support multiple efforts to bring such votes to the floor, illustrates exactly why the voters in our district can no longer afford to be represented by anything other than a true conservative. We have allowed the charade to continue for far too long. Selectively casting "conservative" votes from behind the liberal agenda of his own party's leadership is not the kind of representation this district deserves.

You can bet that Rick Goddard would be in Washington right now, demanding that the views of his constituents be heard, instead of hoping that this all just goes away. Help the conservative 8th district secure conservative representation by contributing to Rick Goddard right now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

God wants this mess cleaned up!

I'm no fan of Joel Osteen. The whole "God wants me to be rich" thing is just plain wrong, and as far as I'm concerned, this guy qualifies as a preacher of another gospel. So when I first read about his wife's little run-in with a flight attendant, I was somewhat amused. Apparently, she had a little hissy fit when the attendant didn't clean up her beverage spill quickly enough.

It's easy to see how someone under the impression that the Creator of the universe owes them earthly wealth could come to the conclusion that mere mortals owe them their undivided attention. But as much as I dislike what the Osteens represent, I really can't spare too much sympathy for the money-grubbing flight attendant who thinks she's entitled to 10% of Victoria Osteen's net worth, just because she had to put up with a tantrum. This woman claims to have experienced depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (uh-huh, the same thing that soldiers go through after, you know, almost dying) as well as a "loss of her faith" after witnessing Mrs. Osteen's unbridled fury.

Of course, the Osteen's could have their lawyer argue that anyone who claims to have "lost their faith" as a result of something Mrs. Osteen did never actually had any faith in anything other than Mrs. Osteen. They could also point out that true saving faith cannot, in fact, be "lost" - but then that would require some knowledge of theology...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


No wonder he's so worshipped by the hardcore left. The junior senator from Illinois has decided that we middle and lower class citizens need another stimulus check to help offset the rising cost of gasoline. Let's forget, for a moment, that Obama is on the record as supporting high gas prices as a way to force us from our 'national addiction' to oil, and look, instead, at this latest position he's decided to espouse. By now we all know that the few positions he actually takes are not to be viewed as 'permanent', but subject to change at the request of conservative critics.

I'm in favor of what President Bush did this past spring - putting tax money back into the hands of taxpayers is always a good thing. But what Obama has proposed is, well, basically it's theft. He's decided on the classic populist play of robbing from the rich to give to the poor. He's actually proposing that the government take money from the profits of oil companies and give it to us poor folks. Now, I'd love to get a $1000 check, but not at the expense of seeing this nation reduced to socialism. Our current tax code is already as close as you can get to redistribution of wealth*, but this is blatant, outright socialism.

Of course, the ignorant voter just loves this stuff. They have no idea that most of the stockholders in major oil companies like Exxon-Mobile are ordinary, middle class citizens just like them. They're also totally oblivious to the fact that companies like Google, Microsoft, and many others have profit margins much higher that any oil company. Where's the outrage against these companies making a killing, while we 'suffer' through a poor economy? Why is it that any company that takes advantage of capitalism and makes a profit is 'evil'?

The bottom line is that without rich folks, we po' folks wouldn't have jobs. Forcing companies to hand over more of their profits is not just un-American, it will only give said companies more reason to raise prices, lay off employees, or find a cheaper place to make their products (China), causing further recession. Barry Obama is nothing but an old-school Marxist in a shiny new package. His reasoning is no different from any other liberal - let the government (the most inept, inefficient bureaucracy ever known) solve all of our problems at the expense of freedom and individual responsibility.

*According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 10% of income earners in this country paid 72.7% of the total Federal Income Tax burden in 2005. That's right, of the total income taxes paid to the federal government, 72% of that amount was paid by only 10% of the total population. The top 1% of earners pay almost 40% of the total tax burden, and the bottom 32% pay nothing. (The handy chart above courtesy of The Heritage Foundation.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another Flip from the Flop

I awoke Sunday morning to the news that the Democrat party's flop has flipped yet again, and I knew it was going to be a good week. The look on his face as he stuttered his way through yet another tail-tucked admission of defeat to conservatism was utterly priceless. And so, it is with great satisfaction, that we add offshore drilling to the ever growing list of Obama's remarkably spineless concessions to conservative criticism.

I guess we conservatives were wrong about the Obama. Maybe when he claims to be a "new kind of politician", he means the kind that does whatever the base of the other party wants him to do...I kinda like that.

This is awesome...

This was a brilliant move by the House GOP on Friday, and it continues today...
After already barely passing a resolution to give themselves a five week paid vacation, the Democrat Congress sneakily adjourned for the day in a craven attempt to escape Washington without a real vote to address America’s high gas prices and energy security. It also, they laughed, would silence Republican members from discussing America’s energy security and independence on the record after votes...

Led by Tom Price (Patriot-GA), Mike Pence (Patriot-IN), Lynn Westmoreland (Patriot-GA) and Henry Brown (Patriot-SC), what commenced as a spontaneous expression of American outrage at Speaker Pelosi and her party’s refusal to hold a vote and help working Americans, soon became a historic Republican “Speak-In” unmatched in U.S. House history...

And so it will continue!

House Republicans will be rearranging schedules, flying thousands of miles, and refusing to take a paid vacation. Instead, the GOP will take to the House floor every day to ensure the voice of Americans’ is heard; there is a vote to make our country energy secure and independent; and keep America the greatest nation on Earth!

Excellent work from our Georgia boys, Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Price! Paul Broun, unsurprisingly, was also a part of the original 'revolution.' Funny, I don't see our 'conservative' congressman Jim Marshall on the list...

Friday, August 1, 2008

That's Calvinism...

Last Sunday afternoon, I was flipping through the channels on television when I came across a preacher, seated behind a desk, looking fervently into the camera over his Bible. I paused long enough to hear him issue the following statement:

“The teaching that God has predestined some to eternal salvation, and others to eternal damnation, is a false doctrine. That’s Calvinism, my friend. You need to put your faith in Jesus Christ today…”

My daughter walked into the room just in time to hear me responding to the television thusly, “and you need to open that Bible of yours to the book of Romans every once in a while, because you’ve basically just called the Apostle Paul a false teacher…my friend”

It’s okay, my daughter is used to my frequent, and sometimes quite animated conversations with the television (it’s actually rather gratifying to berate and argue with something that hasn’t the ability to respond), so she just rolled her eyes and kept walking. Seriously, though, a little more than 10 years ago I would’ve had no problem with the preacher’s statement. Of course, 10 years ago I had done little actual reading of Scripture other than what I was forced to endure through church, school, and parental oversight.

Having been raised, for the most part, as a southern Baptist, predestination was “not in my Bible.” Thanks to the influence of friends and teachers with a Prebyterian background, I was drawn to the teachings of the Reformation. After years of stagnant spiritual growth, I was reading through the Scriptures with a renewed hunger for knowledge. I began to realize that my whole understanding of the process of salvation was flawed. I had been taught that salvation itself had to be such a life-changing and emotional experience, that I would always remember the very moment it had occurred.

I, personally, have never been able to pinpoint a specific date and time when I first relied on Christ for salvation. For many years, I thought that this was because it hadn’t worked the first time. So, I kept walking down the aisle, and kept trying to exercise that saving faith that I knew was necessary for salvation. Whenever I’d ‘backslide’, I’d say, “Well, I guess that last time didn’t take – time to ask Jesus into my heart again. Maybe this time he’ll come in.”

No doubt, our friendly preacher would tell me that I wasn’t really putting ALL of my faith in Christ – in other words, I wasn’t doing it right. Finally, I realized that my whole concept of God’s plan for my salvation was wrong. Salvation is not something I ‘do’ – it’s something Christ DID. It’s done. Over. I don’t ‘choose’ Christ, he already chose me. A lot of people have a serious problem with this view of salvation, but it’s mainly down to a flawed understanding of our condition before God.

Arminianism’s influence on American Christianity has helped to develop the idea that we take the initial step in the salvation process. We choose to have faith in Christ, our souls are regenerated, and we are justified before God as without sin. The problem, at least according to my reading of the New Testament, is that before Christ, we are “dead in our sin.” How is it possible for one who is truly dead, one who would never choose Christ on his own, to take the first step toward salvation? It isn’t.

Without some intervention by the Holy Spirit, we would never even know of our need for salvation. Since no one chooses Christ on his own, it follows logically that God is the one doing the choosing. It’s difficult to believe in the total sovereignty of God, His control over every minute detail of every person’s life, without recognizing that He, at some point, chooses who will become part of the elect. The eternal status of one’s soul is, after all, not exactly a ‘minute’ detail of most people’s lives. But logic isn’t what sold me on the doctrine of election. Paul took care of that:

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Rom. 8:29,30
...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. 2 Tim. 1:9
...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, in love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will... Eph. 1:4,5
See also, Romans 9
Oh, and this guy too:

John 6:37-39
John 6:65

It may fly in the face of our own understanding of ‘free will’, but since when does God’s plan depend on our own understanding of anything? The Arminian view of salvation, however, also limits the work of Christ, and in that, I believe, it commits its most serious error. Let's assume for a moment that I'm wrong, and we do, in fact, have to choose Christ before we are saved. If that's the case, then what, exactly, did Christ's death accomplish? As far as I can tell, it gives us nothing more than the opportunity to be saved. According to this view, Christ's death on the cross did not pay the full price for our redemption. We have to finish the job. That doesn't sound like the Gospel of the New Testament to me. Once again, we're dependent on ourselves for salvation.

Thankfully, Christ's death did accomplish ALL that was necessary for our salvation. God is sovereign, and it’s a huge comfort to know that I, literally, can’t screw up my salvation. It’s a good thing, too, because I’d find a way…believe me.

Hunker Down Dawgs!

Just 29 more days until the Bulldogs begin the 2008 college football season, and they'll start out as the #1 ranked team in the nation! This is pretty exciting, but it also really makes me nervous. It sounds like this is the predominant feeling among UGA fans, as there's a lot of pressure surrounding a spot at the top. It's going to be a severely stressful season, as the slightest slip-up could end up costing us big.

The SEC schedule is as monstrous as it's ever been, with away trips to LSU and Auburn, ranked 6 and 11 respectively, and a big-time grudge match with Florida, ranked #5. The schedule is made even tougher with a non-conference showdown at #16 Arizona State (some of us have been calling for the inclusion of more established non-conference opponents to help boost the schedule, so this is the answer...let's hope it doesn't backfire).

Overall, I think Georgia has what it takes to be in the top 2 come bowl time, even with a loss - as long as it's to one of the ranked teams. Georgia played some of the best football ever seen during the end of last season, so let's hope they keep it up!