Friday, May 29, 2009

Nailed That Sapsucker!

I've lived in my house for about 23 years and have never been plagued with crows until this year. They're everywhere and they are huge (about 24 inches tall). Some are nesting in a forty foot palm tree over my driveway. What a mess. White spots all over the concrete, disgusting loads dropped on my car, and my drive is littered with sticks. That's right, dozens of twigs and branches about ten to fourteen inches in length and about the diameter of my little finger. That, I presume, is their nest-building material. A few days ago, an afternoon breeze kicked up and a large, feather-ridden pile of twigs, paper, and pieces of cloth blew out of the tree onto my driveway. What a mess.

Early every morning we are awakened by, what sounds like someone running or jumping on our roof. That seems to be their favorite gathering spot. Sometimes it is just loud tapping like someone knocking at the door. One afternoon I heard this continuous banging on the roof. I went out to see one of them beating the snot out of a large orange that he had in his beak. They're tearing up my shake roof. Constantly pecking and banging and pulling; I'm finding pieces of shingles laying all around my house.

For weeks now, I go out early in the morning or come home in the afternoon and there they are just sitting there looking at me. It's like an eerie scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie, The Birds.

I look at them, I point at them, I flail my arms and shout and clap my hands, and they sit there and look at me.

So I bought a pellet gun (it's illegal to fire a .22 in the city limits and, besides, there may be some bird worshippers in the neighborhood who'll call the animal cops). It's a high velocity (1000 feet per second) rifle with a scope. I figured it would be like picking off toy ducks in a shooting gallery. I was wrong. I heard recently that birds have a memory span of about 15 minutes. I don't believe it. The first time I walked out the door armed with my new pellet gun, they all took off. It's like they know stuff. So, for several days, they gather around to deliberately bug me; I load my pellet gun and walk out, and they take off "cawing" their warnings all over the neighborhood.

But today was different. I heard them on the roof. I loaded and quietly tiptoed out. Hiding behind a large bush, I caught sight of one sitting on a powerline over my property. I raised the rifle, sighted him in my scope and squeezed the trigger. Bang; I nailed that sapsucker. He dropped thirty feet to the ground like a rock. The rest of them scattered but I got one and he is already some stray cat's dinner.

After I win the war with the crows, I'm going after the ground squirrels.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Embrace the Confluence - WHAT?

A poll I read a couple years ago indicated that, by my recollection, approximately 86% of the Americans surveyed believed that education in this country is failing miserably. And no wonder; the system says to parents, “Give us your children for twelve years. Trust us. We will teach them what they need to know.”

Then the happy day comes when, robed and capped, their little darlings walk across the stage to the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance,” and receive the diploma they have waited for so long. By the time they discover that their children can’t read their diplomas, it’s too late.

What are reasonable objectives of education? What should we expect?

Well, one very distinguished “educator,” Association of Christian Schools International President, Ken Smitherman, has offered what he calls a Matrix for Effectiveness – a vision for leading ACSI into the next quarter century. In it he makes the following statement:

“We must implement strategies that embrace that unique confluence where intellectual development and spiritual formation embrace.”

I suppose he thinks that statement is brilliant and inspiring. As for me, I don't have any idea what it means. It sounds like typical elitist drivel and edubabble to me but, what do I know? Whatever that means, I just hope it works out for them. Personally, I like this clear, concise declaration of what we need from education from one of my favorite conservatives, William Bennett, former secretary of education.

“Education’s fundamental purpose concerns the nurture and development of intellectual and moral character. When the American people are asked what they want from their schools, they consistently put two tasks at the top of their list: First, teach children how to speak, write, read, think, and count correctly; and second, help them to develop reliable standards of right and wrong that will guide them through life.”

Now That's what I call a Matrix for Effectiveness.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Honoring The Memory Of Those Who Have Sacrificed Their Lives For The Cause Of Freedom

Dear Mr. Patriotic Commander-In-Chief;

I want to thank you for the reminder and encouragement today (Memorial Day) for every one of us to take the time to honor the memory of those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of our freedom in this nation.

You are right to do that. It is easy for us to forget. For many of our citizens, Memorial Day is nothing more than a paid day off from work so that we can enjoy backyard barbecues with friends and family. Your challenge especially impacted me as I was thinking about how to honor their memory in a significant and tangible way. And it occurred to me that simple acts of remembering with moments of silence or ringing bells are not really significant or tangible; they are just more of the same meaningless liberal acts of symbolism over substance. We must do more for the cause of FREEDOM.

Your words today prompted me to action and cemented my resolve for that very noble cause. Thank you. Because of your inspiring message, I am going to continue and increase my financial support to patriotic organizations that exist to educate people about the dangers of liberalism and that will fight against left-wing, socialistic ideologies. And I am further resolved to do everything I can to see the day that your vision and agenda for the kind of Amerika you want fails miserably and this nation is, once again, the land of the FREE.

Mr. President, you should be careful what you ask for. God bless the U.S.A.


Ralph M. Petersen

Freedom Is Not Free

It was Palm Sunday in 1865 and, after four miserable years, over 600,000 American soldiers lay dead at the end of the bloodiest war this nation has ever known and we were our own enemy.

The Civil War was unique in that it pitted brother against brother, and father against son. But it was not unlike most of history’s wars in that the real underlying issue was the desire of some men to suppress and control other men.

Just three years later in 1868, General John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared May 30, a day of memorial to honor the war dead. He understood that without something tangible to remind them, men soon, easily forget. Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day has come to be the day we remember and honor those men and women of all our wars who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom.

So this month we will enjoy the family gatherings, the meals, the picnics and the games that we look forward to around this holiday. And if you have children, at some point they will probably ask, “What does this holiday mean?” We should be quick to remind them that the freedoms we enjoy came with, and will continue with a high price tag.   Freedom is not free!

Christians should also be living memorials to Jesus Christ who gave His life for our salvation. So when your children ask you, remind them that freedom comes by sacrifice. And remind them also, that because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can be free from the bondage and penalty of sin.

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Gal. 5:1

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Of COURSE there was a "values thing" going on.

No doubt in anyone's judgment; Adam is an incredible and versatile talent. He was mesmerizing every week. Compared to everyone else in the competition, he was in a league of his own --Exceptional talent, incredible range, vocal control, and style, and amazing versatility. Not only all that, but He is good-looking, likable, charismatic, charming, and seemingly humble. He was the apparent and presumed winner of the singing competition from the beginning.
The problem is, in spite of Simon's insistence each week that it was a "singing" competition, it ceased to be a singing competition when the judging was taken over by the fans. And the hundreds of thousands of idolmaniacs across the nation turned this from a "singing" competition to an "idol" competition.
And that's where the "values thing" got in the way of the "talent thing."
Call me weird, judgmental, or something worse but there's just something about guyliner, black nail polish, big black buttons on his ears and, his questionable or unorthodox sexuality that still turns off the majority of Americans.
If a wholesome, clean-cut guy like Kris showed up at my door to see my teenage daughter, I would be pleased. If someone looking like Adam was there, I'd probably run him off with a pitchfork. Other than that, I really liked him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Recent polling data show that, for the first time in several years, the majority of people in the United States are "pro-life" and an overwhelming number of them are young people.

That is a significant national shift, they say. But I wonder if it really is a massive shift in ideology or if it is just the natural result of legalized abortion. Think about it; who aborts? Those who are "pro-infanticide."

So, in fact, they are baby killers who kill their babies and the pro-lifers are the ones who birth their babies. Sooner or later we should expect to have more conservatives than liberals.

Just for the record, I am pro-choice. That's right; you read it right. I AM PRO-CHOICE. I believe every baby ought to be allowed to live long enough to be able to choose for himself, if he wants to have his limbs ripped out or his brains sucked out.

The Master's Card

Monday, May 18, 2009

Christian Persecution

Here's a promise:
"...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." II Tim. 3:12

I am convinced that, for the most part, Christians in America today know very little about real persecution. I know of some who consider it persecution whenever someone makes fun of their faith or says mean things and hurts their feelings. Nevertheless, there are definitely times when Christians are significantly disadvantaged or suffer loss because of their faith. Recently, we saw Carrie Prejean suffer some pretty disgusting verbal attacks but she probably should have expected that to come her way. The very nature of the contest she chose to enter and her career choice with its requisite, skimpily clad appearances and the resulting risque photo sessions were certain to raise eyebrows and criticism from Christians and non-Christians alike.

We all watched in horror a few years ago as, seconds after takeoff, the space shuttle Challenger exploded in midair, killing all the astronauts on board. NASA claimed that the explosion was an accident, but an investigation revealed that a small, defective O-Ring was responsible for the tragedy.

Roger Boisjoly was an engineer for the company that manufactured the O-Ring. He suspected that the device was not ready for use and repeatedly warned the company that the device would fail. Roger’s honesty and integrity earned him nothing but pain. The company fired him. His neighbors shunned him. His life was threatened. His stand for truth resulted in great loss and persecution.

Most of us will never suffer that kind of persecution, but Christians often find themselves in situations where they are disadvantaged or suffer some loss because of a simple decision to do right. We should not be surprised when it happens; in fact it should be expected as a normal part of the Christian life.

During the Easter season several years ago, Marc Luker, a high school softball coach in Perris, California realized that the team had a game scheduled with another high school team on Good Friday. For religious reasons, Coach Luker and most of his team members did not want to play in order to observe the Christian Holy day. So they called the opposing team’s coach and asked if they could reschedule the match. If not, the team agreed that they would not be able to play on Good Friday. The other coach declined their request and the Perris team forfeited the game.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matt. 5:10

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another War Story From A Wounded Warrior

The following letter was first sent to me as a comment on my recent blogpost, Always Right, Sometimes Wrong! Because of its length and relevance, I have decided to publish it here as a new blogpost. The author is known by me but will remain unidentified.

Greetings Ralph,

I have been pondering your latest post concerning a time you say you were wrong. Lately I seem to be finding myself in that same position,.....trying to determine where I went wrong in some basic judgement.

More than forty years ago I promised to write a book on Church Leadership. I never did, and everyone knows there have been a plethora of them written by others. I do have one nagging problem that I can’t seem to shake. There is an often told story that illustrates it best.

A breathless young man wearing a baseball cap and a windbreaker with a crest and the name of an organization imprinted on them, ran up to a gas station attendant and asked, “Say, have you seen some people go through here wearing hats and jackets like mine?”

“Why Yes,” the attendant said, “they went through here about half an hour ago.”

“Well, I have to catch up with them,” he said, “I’m their leader.”

My observation is that the Church today has a leadership vacuum that has always been predictable and will continue to grow worse so long as men continue to tamper with tried and true biblical principles.

Ralph, perhaps people like you and me have simply lived too long for our own good. The idea that we ought to preserve the “Old Religion,” the "Old Paths," or the “Faith of Our Fathers,” is often ridiculed and has become passe in this “enlightened age.” Thanks to Robert Schuller, who begat Bill Hybels, who begat Rick Warren, who enabled Barack Obama, who wants us all to “just get along,” new preachers are coming out of seminaries with new techniques designed to attract crowds and send them out feeling, oooooh, ever so good.

Your treatment of the issue is both well researched, and right on target. As is the case in the (so-called) gay-liberation movement, we are being asked first to “LISTEN.” Then, we are asked to simply “CONSIDER.” Then they ask us to “TOLERATE.” Following that, we are told to “ALLOW.” What follows are the steps of “BLESSING,” “EMBRACING,” and “CELEBRATING.”

The issues you refer to in your (blogpost) are happening everywhere in churches great and small. What has become commonplace in mainline denominations is now well established in formerly fundamental Baptist Churches and yours is no exception. May I explain ?

I have been especially attuned to movements toward the Willow Creek/Saddleback/Garden Grove business model. It isn’t hard to see when (or where) it rears its ugly head.

One of its marks is the departure of folks who say anything in opposition to it’s gaining control. These silent departures are seldom questioned and excuses for their growing numbers in exodus are quite artful. In fact, I have heard, more than once, of the leadership cadre telling a person that it might be better if that person simply went away, "....seeing as how you don’t like what we’re doing here.”

Another mark of this beast is not new. In fact the mainline CULTS have been practicing it for years. It is Mind Control 101. Those who employ the tactic may truly believe they know what is best for their congregants but, as in the illustration, the leader is most often running far behind the group.

In Mind Control 101 we hear lots about “programs,” and “productions.” There are lists and formulas for church growth and there is the sense that everyone must, as you say, get into a consensus mindset (a kind of groupthink). Anyone who isn’t a team player is marginalized and figuratively sent to the woodshed. It’s my guess you have been taken to the woodshed, haven’t you ?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Latter Day Saints use this tactic to their advantage. Of course, in this valley we have the church of Scientology; a masterworks of Mind Control 101. Without exception, men dominate these false World religions, and mainline evangelical churches often seem drawn to their methods.

Extra-Biblical books like “The Prayer of Jabez,” {Wilkenson} “Purpose Driven Life,” “Purpose Driven Church,” “Answers to Life’s Toughest Questions,” {Warren} “Simple Church,” {Geiger} “Your Best Life Now,” {Osteen} “Tough Times Never Last - But Tough People Do,” {Schuller} and “Self-Esteem-The New Reformation” {Schuller} have all mesmerized and become a means to an end for thousands of learning Christians -“babes in Christ,” if you will.

And with the actual fact that multiple thousands of American pastors preach the same Bill Hybels or Rick Warren generated sermons every week, having subscribed to their on-line pick-a-sermon clubs, you have some of the more dangerous incursions confronting the Church to date.

All of this was prophesied by the ancients, and by Jesus Himself. Our problem, (yours and mine), is that we chafe at the idea of standing by while prophetic end-times events engulf our beloved churches. We would stay with the “WALK” and the “WAY,” and not tamper with it's God-directed success.

Ralph, a church that pushes people away, in order that some "leaders without followers" may accomplish their own grandiose ideas, is doomed from the get go. Let’s pray someone wakes up before Jesus calls us Home, and our church is found to be nothing but wood and stubble.

Author' Identity Withheld

Friday, May 15, 2009

Power to the People-The Neccessity of the Second Amendment

“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”

Noah Webster

History Of The World

I don't know who to credit for this; it was forwarded by a friend.

HISTORY 101 For those who don't know about history .... Here is a condensed version:

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These two inventions formed the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals
2. Conservatives.

Grain was needed to brew beer and so that was the beginning of agriculture. And since neither the glass bottle nor the aluminum can had been invented yet, our early human ancestors just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men, who were weaker and less skilled at hunting, learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern Liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard Liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary oddity is that most of their women have higher testosterone levels than the men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood, sail boaters, and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud, which now has been bought by gay Germans. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots, and generally anyone who works productively. conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more of the conservatives' stuff for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history:

It should be noted that a Liberal will have a compelling urge to write an angry, anonymous response to this.

A Conservative will simply laugh and forward it to other conservatives and then send it to a few liberals just to irritate the snot out of them .

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Inane Debate; The Absense of Reason

"One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people's motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans-- anything except reason."

Thomas Sowell

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Can't Believe HE Really Said That

"This is a difficult time of year for Rahm Emanuel;
He is not used to saying "Day' after the word 'Mother'."

Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Plan For Gitmo Detainees

To: Barack Obama

Hey, Chief;

I know I have occasionally been a tad bit disrespectful to you so I would understand if you choose to blow me off. But before you do, please hear me out. I have a proposition to make that, I’m sure, should be beneficial to you. Of course there will be some benefit for me too. You know how the old saying goes; “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” So what d’ya say we bury the hatchet and see if we can’t work together?

You see, this current economic slump has created a real problem for me. I'm kind of a community organizer; I run a “faith-based” residential facility for the elderly (I know you are a man of great visible faith; the U.S. News and World Report says so.) so you might be interested in this.

We are really struggling to keep our head above water these days. Most of those elderly people in our target market are nervous and uncertain about their financial security and the stability of their children and consequently, it is difficult to market our services these days. Our occupancy is way down and our income is insufficient to support our budget (please don’t get the wrong idea; I’m not asking you for a government bailout). We have about 60 unoccupied rooms and we desperately need occupants. The bottom line is, if we do not increase our occupancy, we will be forced to lay off more employees.

That’s where you come in. You are committed to closing Hotel Gitmo and evicting the residents. But you have a problem. NO ONE in the world wants them (except for Germany; they’ll take one). So what do you do? You have bodies and I have rooms. Voila! You need me and I need you.

So, if you would be so kind, please send them my way. I’m sure the generous subsistence they will receive from the government at taxpayers’ expense should be more than adequate to cover our low rental rates. This proposal is really a win/win for both of us. I could provide housing for about 120 of them (double occupancy). Think of all the taxpayer money you can save. You will not have to build new prisons or alternate detainment centers and, by locating all your detainees in one place, the government could save lots of money that might otherwise be spent to “watch” them.

And don’t worry about them being terrorists. At one time, lots of us worried about that but this is a new era in our history. We no longer fear terrorists. As a matter of fact, we kinda feel like kindred spirits with them since your Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano has deemed most patriotic or religious citizens, extremist terrorists. We’ll get along just fine.

Great plan, don’t ya think? Let me know A.S.A.P. I can have the rooms ready to occupy in about two weeks (we’ll need a little time to remove the Bibles from the rooms and replace them with Koran). Oh and we’ll need to remove the pork (the meat kind) from our menus (did I mention that we provide meals too?) Maybe we’ll need three weeks.

I'll be anxiously awaiting your response,

Sincerely yours,

Ralph M. Petersen

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Confidence Builder

I know we are all a little apprehensive about who Obama might appoint to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. But, fear not, Senator Harry Reid has these words of encouragement:

"I am confident that any choice Obama makes for a Supreme Court appointment will be as good as his cabinet selections."

What Are They Smoking At US News and World Report?

Don’t be fooled by the title; U.S. News and World Report is NOT a credible news publication. It's not even good science fiction. It is a comic book at best and not a very funny one at that.

To commemorate President Barack Obama's first 100 days in office, U.S. News & World Report documented what it considers to be the "10 Most Important Obama Faith Moments."

Without defining what "most important" and "faith moment" mean, the magazine clearly showed the thesis and thrust (and idiocy) of the article with this sentence: "Barack Obama has embraced faith in a more visible way than any other president in recent memory."

Wow! That’s quite a statement. Have they forgotten George W. Bush already? So, what are these 10 important, noteworthy, and visible faith moments?

Read them here in this column by Chuck Norris. I'm sure you will be awed by this President’s faith.

Every Church Member Bears Responsibility For False Teaching

"If you sit and listen to trash being presented as the Word of God, you will be held responsible. Indeed, if you sit and listen to (my) teaching, you will bear some responsibility for it.

Every local church in Christendom, from Greek Orthodox to Pentecostal, from Roman Catholic to Baptist, from Episcopalian to Lutheran, from Presbyterian to Methodist, is congregational in nature. They exist only as the people continue to participate in their activities. When the people vote--whether at a congregational meeting or (where that's not allowed) with their funds or their feet--the leaders of the congregation must listen. They don't have to agree, but they must listen. The congregation will have their say. That's a simple fact. It is like gravity. It is just a matter of the way things work."

Mark Dever
From 9 Marks of a Healthy Church (pg. 225)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Doing My Part To "GREEN" The Planet


Over thirty years ago, my wife and I determined to NOT purchase new cars; the instant depreciation seemed, to us, to be unwise. So we have saved thousands of dollars by purchasing used cars with low mileage and existing warranties.

However, I recently violated my own, self-imposed, rule and purchase a NEW vehicle. And no, I didn't finance it either; I paid cash in full. Actually, due to slumping sales, factory and dealer incentives, and a slowing economy, some new cars may be priced cheaper than late model used cars.

And I didn't get one of those sissified, "green" vehicles either. I got a real man's car. It is a Toyota FJ Cruiser and it gets about 16 miles per gallon and runs on premium grade gasoline. I am proud to do my part by buying more, higher priced gasoline that generates more tax revenue for my state (that’s called patriotism).

And, just to confuse all the earth-worshipping "green freaks," I have displayed this decal (from Glenn Beck's website) on the vehicle. Heh heh, that'll fool 'em. Or not; they probably won't get it (hydro-carbon power is really, just gasoline. Ha, ha).

Come to think of it though, my car emits carbon dioxide, and trees need carbon dioxide to thrive, so, I really am doing my part to feed the trees and green up the world, don't you agree? Now I feel really good about myself.