Wednesday, November 26, 2008


"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty." -Edward Winslow, Plymouth Plantation-1621

I've always felt that Thanksgiving is too often overshadowed by its proximity to Christmas. We tend to forget that our nation would not exist, at least not in its current form, without the events surrounding that first Thanksgiving day. The Pilgrims who settled Plymouth Plantation had a difficult first year in America, but they perservered through unthinkable hardships in order to establish a new place of religious freedom. We owe much to the men and women who put their trust in God, as well as the people of the Wampanoag tribe, whom God used to preserve our ancestors during this time.

Why celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday? I think it's pretty clear that the "First Thanksgiving" was a critical turning point in our nation's birth. Every freedom we now enjoy can be attributed to the families who risked everything to come here, and to the God who sustained them and this nation through that and many subsequent times of trial. As George Washington said in 1789, after another critical time in our nation's history:

"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789."

Only in America

It seems that with each passing year, we hear more and more outrageous stories about some poor idiot with nothing better to do than try and ruin Thanksgiving or Christmas for everyone else. The first report of such shenanigans for this year's holiday season comes from - surprise, surprise - California. I'm familiar with the typical liberal argument that Thanksgiving is really a celebration of oppression and "genocide." Yes, it's hard to believe, but apparently some people do actually pay attention to what fat, anti-American movie directors have to say about our nation's history. Now we have a school banning the use of pilgrim and indian costumes for their Thanksgiving celebration, all because some hippie has decided she's offended.

Here we see the effects of our pathetically impotent, politically-correct education system in all its grandeur. This woman, who I'm sure was educated in one of our nation's shining beacons of educational underachievement known as public schools, is ruining Thanksgiving for a bunch of kindergarteners. Of course, all of this could have been avoided had she, and the millions of other products of government education, been properly informed as to the actual historical events surrounding Thanksgiving. Instead, school-kids all over the nation are being fed a bunch of nonsense designed to induce the guilt that liberals believe we should all experience as a result of our ancestors' actions.

We're also beginning to see the consequences of liberal hypocrisy in their intolerance of Christianity's celebration of Christmas. We all know that liberals only practice tolerance of beliefs that are in line with their own silly little worldview, it just becomes more obvious this time of year. So, make it a point to say Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to as many people as you can this holiday season. Make sure your Christmas cards say "Merry CHRISTMAS" instead of Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings, and be sure to tell your kids about the true history of Thanksgiving, as described here.

Oh, and - do I really need to say this? - don't let the government educate your kids.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sarah! and Saxby

I had heard from someone on Saxby's staff last week that the campaign was working on getting Governor Sarah Palin down to Georgia to help get voters fired up over the run-off. Well, according to the Telegraph, Sarah! has agreed to come to the rescue. The closest she'll get to Macon is Perry - chosen, I suppose, so that the Ag Center can be used as a venue to host the sizeable crowd she will no doubt draw. She's a popular gal in these parts - and for good reason. She'll also be coming to Augusta, Savannah, and Atlanta.

Governor Palin did what I thought would be impossible during the recent campaign: she got the justifiably suspicious conservative base of the GOP fired up in spite of the squish at the head of the ticket. Her enduring popularity proves the idiocy of those Republican elites who suggest that she is responsible for dragging McCain down, and puts the sword to any argument that the GOP needs to abandon its traditional conservative principles.

Her presence here, along with the likes of Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani, and other Republican big guns who have stopped in to stump for Saxby over the last few weeks, also shows the importance of this run-off election. A 60 seat majority for the Democrats would be catastrophic, not just for the GOP, but for the future of this nation. The Democrat leadership has already made it clear that they intend to take full advantage of the current crisis situation, and the general feeling of panic beginning to spread throughout the population.

As Rahm Emanuel has said, this crisis represents an opportunity for government to take more radical steps than would normally be tolerated by a still center-right electorate. We are already watching our great nation teetering on the brink of socialism, and 60 votes in the Senate all but guarantees that even more drastic and permanent steps will be taken in the wrong direction. If you call yourself a conservative, then you have no excuse for sitting this one out, or for voting against Saxby Chambliss. You may not agree with everything he has done - I don't - but you cannot make a credible argument for doing anything other than voting for the GOP in this case.

This election has been painful. We lost. Big time. And I can understand a certain satisfaction in watching the politicians who have failed to advance conservatism in office crash and burn. It's almost as if we need a little pruning to be stronger in the long run. But too much pruning can be a very bad thing. We need to leave enough branches in place to keep the tree alive. We must leave our party in a position to mount a serious opposition to the people now in charge. We need to get over ourselves and lay the groundwork for a conservative comeback. The first, and most important way to do so is by helping get Saxby Chambliss re-elected.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Macon Construction

The Telegraph reports today on the ground-breaking ceremony for my latest project, Capital City Bank's new downtown branch, to be built on the corner of Fifth Street and MLK, Jr. Blvd. The new building will be a 3-story brick structure, designed specifically for the unique site by Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates of Atlanta. For those of you who have been around Macon for a while, it's going on the site of the former Green Jacket restaurant, adjacent to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

It's great to see some new, private construction going on in Macon, and kudos to Capital City for going ahead with what will be a very nice building in such a difficult financial market. The new branch will house a large conference room on the 3rd floor, which will be available to outside organizations throughout the year, and a large open balcony from which Maconites will be able to watch the annual Cherry Blossom Parade downtown. The design is quite unique, and will blend in well with the surrounding Gateway Plaza, Peyton Anderson, and Sports and Music Halls of Fame structures.

Local contractor Chris R. Sheridan will be handling the nuts and bolts of getting this thing built, and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. I'd love to post a rendering of the building, but I need to get permission before doing so. I'll try to post photos of the project as it progresses. Check back later for more info!

Hope and Change

I've been a little burned out on politics lately, and after a discouraging election it's been difficult to find the motivation to blog. I'm thinking I'll switch gears a little bit and focus more on theology and maybe some local issues. I'll still be keeping an eye on the political world, as I believe that politics and public policy should be a major focus for Christians to put their faith into practice. As Obama's prospective presidency is shaping up to look more and more like a sick mutation of Clinton and Carter part two, there will no doubt be many opportunities to comment on his performance.

As I've said before, I sincerely hope he proves me wrong and does a good job of leading us through a difficult time. I'll support him when he makes the right decisions, and call him out when he doesn't. In the end, we are called to support and pray for our leaders, following their leadership whenever it does not directly contradict Scripture. Ligon Duncan has some good things to say about our situation on Reformation 21:
We ought to commit ourselves to pray for our new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We will do this, not only because of the biblical command to pray for our rulers, but because of the second greatest commandment "Love your neighbor" and what better way to love your neighbor, than to pray for his well-being. Those with the greatest moral and political differences with the President-Elect ought to ask God to engender in them, by His Spirit, genuine neighbor-love for Mr. Obama...

We will pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of crucial moral concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.

For those Christians who are more dismayed than overjoyed about the prospects of an Obama presidency, there should be a remembrance that as our President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14). Thus, again, we are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2). We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7). We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17)...

Without doubt and whatever our particular views may be, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must all expect to be frustrated and disappointed. Some now may feel defeated and discouraged. While others may all-too-soon find their audacious hopes unfounded and unrealized. We must all keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up leaders and nations, and it is God who pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think like unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Union Bailouts

I don't like this auto bailout one bit. They're basically asking us to pay for the mess made by labor unions. I realize that many people will lose their jobs, pensions, etc. if GM is allowed to go under, but simply giving them a blank check with no conditions would be idiotic. All three of the Detroit automakers need to go through a complete restructuring process, and this should be a condition of any taxpayer money being sent in their direction.

I believe that most of the problems they are facing right now can be traced back to labor unions and our government's self-defeating tax policies. You'd almost have to be an idiot to try and run a large company in this country, especially now that the socialists have taken over. Corporate tax rates are exorbitant in comparison to our main international competitors, and labor unions are costing all of us more than they are worth. These companies are not competitive in their own market because they aren't competing on a level playing field.

I say no bailout unless the UAW is forced to renegotiate their labor contracts, reducing salaries and benefits down to what the market decides is reasonable. We, the taxpayers, are not the ones who should have to tighten our belts, while the people responsible for this whole mess keep on as if nothing is wrong. Congressional conservatives should oppose any legislation that doesn't force a big change in the way these companies do business.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can expect the same from our president in waiting. Big Labor helped purchase his place in the White House, and we all know what that means. Change we can believe in, my arse.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kids Love Their Nanny (State)

Erick has an interesting post up today about a post election study concerning people’s views on the role of government. One of the more interesting results of this study comes from the respondents’ answers to how large and active the government should be in the lives of its citizens. It’s not exactly surprising that a majority of people who label themselves Democrats or liberal are in favor of a larger government with more social programs, but overall, 53% of people are in favor of “smaller government with fewer services”, while 28% are in favor of the opposite.

One interesting result, however, is seen in the fact that a majority of 18 – 25 year olds favor a larger government. I’m not really surprised by this either, as most young folks tend to be more liberal. But why is it that this is the case? Why are so many of those in their early 20’s susceptible to a view of government that is completely at odds with what the founders of this nation envisioned? There are many reasons, the first of which is likely a severe lack of quality in education throughout our nation. Political correctness has taken its toll on the quality and contents of most history textbooks, and teachers unions, like pretty much every union, continue to have an adverse effect on the end product.

And let’s not kid ourselves with respect to higher institutions of learning. Colleges and universities have become havens for liberalism – likely because that’s the only place ideas don’t actually have to be put into practice – and your average professor isn’t exactly a champion of small government conservatism. Anything is possible in the dream-world of academia, and with a captive audience whose real-world experience is even more limited than that of their esteemed professors, brainwashing becomes an incredibly fruitful and rewarding enterprise, I’m sure.

So, between the ages of 18 and 25, most people have been ill informed as to the historical nature and purpose of their government, received at least 4 years of indoctrination from people whose ideas wouldn’t cut it in the real world, haven’t had to pay taxes, and have had very little time to actually watch their government in action. There’s a reason people become more conservative and anti-government later in life. I would challenge anyone to list one single social enterprise our federal government has ever taken on that has resulted in anything even remotely resembling efficiency or success. Social Security? Medicaire?, Public Education?

And now we are about to embark on an experiment in government run healthcare! Because it’s been sooooo successful everywhere else in the world, I suppose. Excellent.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And So It Begins...

I had to wait several days to write about the election results. To say that I'm dissappointed would be an understatement, but I'm not depressed. Most of us saw this one coming, and knew it would be a rough night for the GOP. That being said, I don't believe this to be a repudiation of conservatism for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Obama ran on plenty of conservative ideals. He promised tax cuts, albeit with a populist twist, and even tried to convince people he was "pro-life."

In fact, he succeeded in giving many believers, especially African Americans, an excuse to rationalize their support for him in spite of his horrific record on abortion. Many of them will outright refuse to admit to this day that he supports abortion. I realize that any black American is going to have a difficult time voting against Obama, despite the fact that he is considerably more liberal than most of them.

And while I ultimately think that Obama's presidency is going to be very bad for America from an economical and political standpoint, I also recognize that his election will be good for America. The election of the nation's first black president is historic, and encouraging for many reasons. While I worry about his policy positions and his character, I can still be inspired by how far our nation has come in the last 50 years or so. I can celebrate our nation getting beyond the racial barrier, while at the same time wishing our nation's first black president didn't have to be a socialist liberal.

I hate to admit it, but I did feel the slightest bit of pride, tempered with dread, the morning after the election. I sincerely hope that President-elect Obama will prove me wrong - for the sake of my nation and our children's futures, I really do hope that he will be a successful president. His record does not give me confidence, but I'll support him as president, unlike the idiots on the left have done for the past 8 years, because that's what grown-up Americans do.

My guess is that he'll be too busy handling the wars, economic crises, and potential threats from Russia (all of which will no doubt be blamed on evil republicans and Bush) to actually be able to enact many of his misguided plans - at least for the next few years. The real threat will be coming from congress, as I don't see too much chance of Obama using the veto pen against the idiocy Pelosi and Reid will no doubt be producing.

So, that's my final vent on the presidential election of 2008. We will have a new leader in a few months, and while I don't trust or particularly like him, I recognize that he has been put in this place for a reason. For that reason I will pray for him, and hope that he follows up on his promises for a "new era of change in Washington." If he actually does manage to "change" Washington through real bipartisanship, then I will give him full credit.

However, I will always judge his actions from the standpoint of conservatism, the last best hope for this nation. I'm predicting Jimmy Carter part deux...I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!!

Wow. I haven't posted anything in a while, but I have to get my election day thoughts out in the open before I go crazy. Work will have to wait.

I have to admit that I've been pretty much resigned to losing this election for the past few weeks. But I also will say that I've always been suspicious of polls. We all know by now that the polls are predicting a close to fairly comfortable win for Obama. We also know that many of these polls are oversampling Democrats because pollsters assume there will be more Democrats voting this year. While it is true that the Democrat Party has registered more new voters than the GOP, that doesn't necessarily translate into votes. We can also look back to the last 2 elections and see where the polls were all very wrong.

I'm not going to get into the theories about pollsters intentionally skewing their data to demoralize conservatives, or to send the message that an Obama win is 'inevitable.' I wouldn't be surprised in the least if this were the case, but no one knows for sure. All we can do is look at the different variables in this election, and see that there are far too many unknowns for any predictions to be accurate.

Early voting will no doubt have some impact, as many people who may not have made time to vote on election day will have had weeks to do so in some states. My gut tells me that this will favor Democrats. We also know that many more black voters will go to the polls this year than in previous years because of Obama's ethnicity. It doesn't matter that he likely has very little in common with most black Americans.

It's sad, but many of them honestly believe that Barack is now going to give them everything they want. Seriously. This is not an isolated issue. Talk to the school teachers and find out what their students are telling them about an Obama presidency. They're going to be very disappointed if he does get into office, but right now they are fired up and going to the polls - at least it seems that way here in Macon.

I got to my polling location this morning just before 8am, and there was a moderate line inside the building. I waited about 30 minutes before voting, but in that time I saw 4 different people being told that their address didn't match or that they were at the wrong precinct. All 4 were allowed to vote. All they had to do was fill out a 'change of address' form. Is it that difficult to follow the rules? How do we know these people didn't go to another polling place and cast another vote? Of course, they can't be turned away, or told to go to the correct polling place, because that would be 'voter intimidation', and the ACLU would be all over it.

We're already hearing about issues all over the country, but especially in battleground states. Pennsylvania looks to be one of the pivotal states in this race. Erick has said that he now thinks that if McCain can carry PA, he'll win the election. North Carolina and Virginia should also be two early indicators of how McCain will do tonight. If it's still 'too close to call' in PA and VA when the polls close, then I'd say we have a shot. I would love nothing more than for the media, all the pollsters, and all of Europe to once again be proved wrong. I think it's going to be close, but I'm praying for a good night.