Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Change Your Name Or Change Your Behavior

Several centuries before Christ, Alexander the Great came out of Macedonia and Greece to conquer the Mediterranean world. He didn't know it, but God was using him to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah--for it was as a result of Alexander's conquests that Greek was established as the common language of the Grecian and later even Roman Empire. On one of his campaigns, Alexander received a message that one of his soldiers had been continually, and seriously, misbehaving and thereby shedding a bad light on the character of all the Greek troops. And what made it even worse was that this soldier's name was also Alexander. When the commander learned this, he sent word that he wanted to talk to the errant soldier in person. When the young man arrived at the tent of Alexander the Great, the commander asked him, "What is your name?" The reply came back, "Alexander, sir." The commander looked him straight in the eye and said forcefully, "Soldier, either change your behavior or change your name."
This story has a lesson for each of us. When we call ourselves Christians, we are identifying with Jesus Christ. When we wear a cross, or ICHTHUS, or put Christian stickers on our cars, we are being a witness for Him. We are being identified with the name of Christ. Is your behavior compatible with that name and with the symbol that shows that you are a Christian?

--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 299-300.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why I Am An Anarchist

I know I have a bad attitude about government but it's the only one I have and I’m gonna keep it.

 One afternoon one of my employees used the company car to go to purchase some produce for our elderly residents. All our vehicles are equipped with handicap parking permits so she used it to park in a restricted space.

The local uniformed, motorcycle-riding constabulary were out in full force “protecting and serving.” In a sting operation designed to stop crime (raise revenue) in our community, they swept through the lot citing all the dangerous criminals who were inappropriately parked in blue spaces and confiscating their handicap placards.

My employee was one of them. When she asked “why are you giving me two tickets?” the jack-booted Gestapo thug who cited her, rudely snapped, “Don’t you know the law?”

She got two tickets. I don’t know why. They both sound like the same thing to me.  His explanation was that citation #1 was for not having a handicapped person in the vehicle and #2 was for unauthorized use of the permit. The first ticket will cost her $350. I’m not sure about the second one but she will have to appear in court. By the way, all our vehicle code violations include a 117% penalty assessment (which is a tax on the penalty).  It is no wonder that many municipalities have reduced their police force and replaced them with code enforcement officers. Catching bad guys is dangerous and costly; hassling regular people for seat belt and cell phone violations, parking violations, garage sales, etc. is an easy and lucrative enterprise.

The jack-booted Gestapo guy confiscated our parking placard, gave her a copy of the property document and told her that I would have to go to the police station to retrieve it. I thought I would have to wait until the next day because he was still out on patrol. “No,” she said, “He told me that you need to go right away because it would be at the station before you could get there.”

So later in the afternoon I drove across town to the station. I was greeted by Barney Fiffe on steroids with a control issue. “What do you need?” he asked.

“I want to retrieve our confiscated handicap placard,” I answered.

“They’re not here yet,” he snapped (obviously he knew the boys were out rounding them up).

“Well why would the officer tell my employee that it would be here before I could get here?” I asked.

Then Barney started exerting his authority, “Hey, don’t talk to me about it. Go talk to the officer.”

I snapped back, “It's not my job to talk to him.  I’m not his supervisor.  He told me it would be here.”

Barney Fiffe grabbed my receipt and commanded, “Well then just sit down and wait for him until he ends his shift.”

“Gimme that paper back,” I demanded as I reached through the window and grabbed it back.  Then I figured I had better leave the station before I got arrested.

So early the next morning I returned to the station. This time I was greeted by a female officer. I handed her my property receipt and told her that I was there to retrieve my confiscated placard. She walked back to consult with another officer and then left the room for a few minutes. When she returned she informed me that the placards had already been returned to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles and I would have to go there to claim it.

I hate going to the DMV. I waited in line for 20 minutes to get to the desk marked “START HERE.” I told the public servant chick behind the counter what I needed.  She asked if the placard had been stolen. “No," I said, "the police officer confiscated it."  So she handed me a form to replace stolen license plates and told me to fill it out and wait for my turn.

I completed the form. I sat and and stewed as I watched several public servant zombies chewing the fat, polishing their nails, and watching the clock for about an hour while somewhere near a hundred of us waited for our turns (except for masochists, I don't understand why these kinds of experiences don't cause everyone to become Republicans).

Finally they called my number. I handed my paperwork to the clerk and told her what I needed. “I’m sure this is the wrong form,” I said, "my license plates weren't stolen.  I'm here to retrieve a confiscated handicap placard."

“No. Its the right form,” she answered as she began entering info into her computer. After some obvious, fruitless attempts to accomplish something, she started thumbing through her two-inch-thick "DMV Stuff For Dummies Guidebook."  Finally, out of frustration, she called for her supervisor.

“You can’t do it that way,” said her supervisor. Then he looked at me and said, “You filled out the wrong form.”

I filled out another form.

Then I was sent to wait in line at another window where I was finally issued a NEW replacement placard. 

That whole compounded ordeal, from the local police department to the State DMV was a costly, bungled, bureaucratic waste of time, energy, and resources at the taxpayers’ expense. And it was totally unnecessary. All right, my employee shouldn’t have done it; she got her citation and she'll pay a fine. I won’t argue that. That should have been the end of it. But no, government bureaucracy cannot do anything in a simple, straightforward and sensible way.

I never did retrieve my confiscated handicap placard.  I'm just happy that the police department wasn't holding something valuable; I have no confidence that they can be trusted with other people's property.  So where is my original handicap placard?  My guess is that some jack-booted Gestapo thug guy has it in his personal vehicle so he can snag a convenient parking spot whenever he is in a crowded lot.

I can hardly wait until the government runs our free health care.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

EARTH DAY, Repainting The World Green

In 1970, Senator G. Nelson proclaimed April 22 “Earth Day.” That started all this religious global activism to paint the world green. I am really getting irritated with all the rabid Earth worshipping zealots cramming their doctrines down our throats, stifling all honest debate, scaring our children to death and engaging in meaningless, and hypocritical activities of symbolism over substance just to raise the level of green awareness.

Here are some of their common talking points about environmental issues:

  • “Scientists unanimously agree that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is caused by man.”No, they don’t! Scientists are NOT unanimously agreed about this. There is plenty of left-wing political consensus but no scientific consensus about long-term climate trends and what causes them. An Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine document signed by over 17,100 basic and applied American scientists asserts that "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate." In fact, recently, most of the data has been discovered to be manufactured.  Nevertheless, any lefty, lunatic whacko who is really all that concerned about the human release of carbon dioxide could just heroically do his part and STOP BREATHING!”

  • We are running out of water.”   Anyone who has ever really paid attention in school would know that the amount of water in our ecosystem will always be the same. Water is constantly recycled through the hydraulic system of evaporation and precipitation. Our temporary reservoirs may get low at times and, because of high concentrations of population in some areas, the demand may be greater than our local resources. Or worse yet, because of government abuse, mismanagement, and deliberate waste for political purposes.  But, I have seen the ocean.  Here’s a news flash for you; we are NOT running out of water.

  • “Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is dangerous to the environment and would only provide six months of oil.” The Department of Energy reported that oil drilling can be done in a very environmentally sensitive manner and could actually aid the environment. In fact, the size of the ANWR area in relation to the whole of the wildlife refuge is comparable in scale to a postage stamp on a football field. Besides that, I think the caribou are all in favor of drilling. The statistical claim that ANWR only holds six months of oil assumes that we know how much oil is there and that we would rely solely on oil from ANWR at the exclusion of ALL OTHER foreign and domestic sources. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that ANWR holds enough oil to replace half of what we currently import from the entire Persian Gulf region for 36 years.  More recent discoveries of vast resources reveal that we could be energy independents for, possibly, hundreds of years. 

  • “We are continuously losing tree cover in the United States; virtually all of the United States east of the Mississippi River once was tree-covered.” There is more wood grown in the U.S. than is cut each year, and the number of acres planted with trees goes up nearly every year. There are more trees in the United States today than there were in the 1920's.

  • “The rising rate of cancer is caused by an increase in chemicals released into the air and water.” Cancer, a disease that often affects the elderly, is on the rise because the average life expectancy has risen dramatically. Pollution accounts for 2% of cancer-related deaths, while 65% are attributed to diet and tobacco.

  • “Species are going extinct at the alarming rate of 110 per day.” Norman Myers made that hypothetical estimate in 1979 based on his arbitrary, screwball assumption that 1 million species would become extinct in 25 years. Unfortunately, there is probably no danger of idiots, morons, or liberals becoming extinct anytime soon.
But regardless of any honest debate, reasonable doubts, lack of contrary evidence, or any other serious scientific evidence, true believers continue to wage war against the human race on behalf of their goddess, Mother Earth, with all the zeal they can muster. 

So, today, let's all ignore the naysayers and unbelievers and let's go out there and sing praises to the dirt; let's extol the virtues of Mother Nature.  Heck, if we would all join hands and think happy green thoughts we might just be able to undo the tilt of the earth's axis which was probably tipped as a result of human abuse in the first place.  After all, the majority of the earth's human population is located in the northern hemisphere which caused it (I mean "her") to become top-heavy (not intended to offend fat chicks).  What a wonderful world this could be if we would just be sensitive to the feelings of our great celestial mother and redistribute half the world's population to South America and Africa. 

“Only a fool decides a matter before he knows the facts!” Proverbs 18:13 (paraphrased by me)