Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Message

It's true. Some people don't find out until it's too late, that they need another life. If you've never had a radical, personal, life-changing experience with Jesus, then you really need to. It's not enough to know intellectually- even the demons believe, and tremble. It's a spiritual thing- a heart thing.

The great thing about it is it's so very simple. Believe that Jesus died on the cross for you. Repent, and ask Jesus into your heart. He's calling right now, with a voice that cannot be heard with human ears. Those who come to God must come to Him in spirit and truth, believing that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek him. So knock on the door that is even now before you, and believe.

Why do I write of this? It's because one of the last things Jesus said on this Earth, before going to be with God. He said to spread the gospel- the good news, that man's sin is forgiven by His sacrifice.

You see, when it all comes down to it, all the things that we count as important, don't really matter. We come into this world naked, and in the end we will all leave everything behind. We all seem to suffer from perennial tunnel vision, living for and in reaction to our senses, our emotions, our next big thing. So what's it all about then? It's all about Him. That's what life is all about.

Jesus, you are Lord! I *thank you* for all you have done. I love you.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Glenn Was Wrong

You Are Doing It Wrong

Edit: Okay, all right. I'm not liking this a bit, BUT... It looks like I was wrong. The guy evidently had second thoughts about his family which he left behind in Iran. His comments about getting abducted seem to be a sham in order to keep them from being murdered. Can't blame the guy. I'll change the label and eat some humble pie. DANG I hate it when I am wrong, but at least I can admit it. This does not mean the US does not kidnap people in foreign countries- I'm sure agents of the CIA do, but not in this case. Sigh. At least no one reads this rag. Next time I will wait at least one day before posting stuff that makes me look like an idiot. (See article below.)

What a mess. Many older people of my generation remember the Carter years. We remember our spineless president who capitulated to the Ayatollah Khomeni in "diplomacy" and "talks" as his country took 66 embassy workers as "spies," holding them hostage. This was compounded by the failed rescue attempt in Operation Eagle Claw which killed eight American servicemen.

Now in Guantanamo, both Bush and Obama have failed to have military tribunals for all detainees due to heel dragging and a decision from the supreme court limiting presidential authority. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, Obama further ordered all military tribunals in progress halted. This does not sit well with me as these men deserve justice, not limbo. To compare, Iranians seize civilians in a sovereign embassy, we seize militants in Afghanistan. So now we have these men who were training to attack American civilians in limbo. Iran has also captured British sailors in Iraqi waters and civilian hikers on the border holding them prisoner. The British sailors were released because Iran's leaders knew Britain would flatten the country if they were not.

One would think in this situation we have the moral high ground. Forget about it now. The CIA screwed it up. They captured an Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, to pump him for information about Iran's nuclear program. They evidently whisked him away from Saudi Arabia while on pilgrimage, only now, he has escaped to the Pakistani embassy and is demanding to be repatriated to Iran. Oops.

Now look, we all know there are spies and they do their dirty work behind the scenes. Take for example the Russian gold digger Anna Chapman who tried to ingratiate herself to the British princes Harry and William.

Here's the point: When you run these kinds of operations, you legitimize countries like Iran and North Korea basically kidnapping any westerner and holding them hostage. Carter, to his credit, stepped up immediately and admitted his responsibility for the failed rescue attempt. I won't be holding my breath for Obama to do the same in this foreign policy blunder.

armchair coach
amateur historian

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Somebody STOLE my Red Pen !

About 6 years ago, around the time that "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" came out, I had a young man in my class that I will call "Mike." Mike was a class clown, always looking for a laugh, and never seriously interested in school. We got along fairly well; I think he appreciated my dedication to teaching along with my sense of humor.

Mike came to class one day, wearing a tall white top hat, giant googly white glasses, and black nail polish. Whenever I would look in his direction, he would blurt out, "DON'T STARE AT ME !" to which I finally had to break down laughing as he looked like a complete spectacle. "I'm sorry," I would reply, still laughing, "I have to look at you to teach you."

Now at that time I was still using the overhead projector for class notes. As was often the case, whenever I misplaced an overhead pen, usually the red colored one, I would state, "Somebody STOLE my red pen!" I would look through my desk drawer and through assorted papers and overhead sheets. It became a running gag of sorts, in homage to the early comedy of Steve Martin.

Mike's antics continued throughout the year, and finally I was able to give him a small dose of his own comedic medicine. He came into class chewing gum one day, and I directed him to make a deposit in the gum bank (which is the trash can.) As he came up to throw the gum away, I placed my finger over my lips after he passed as I walked over to his desk and discreetly slid the red overhead pen into his notebook. The class immediately caught on to my gag and began to giggle.

Turning on the overhead projector, I exclaimed, "Somebody STOLE my red pen!" looking around my desk. Mike immediately chimed in blurting out, "Oh, no, not THAT dumb joke again!" He rolled his eyes and made sort of a show out of it, mocking me. The class broke up into stitches knowing what was coming.

"Wait a minute..." I frowned, focusing on him because of his outburst. "I'll bet YOU are the one who has been stealing my pens!" I pointed my finger as the class practically erupted. "Oh yeah, RIGHT!" Mike replied.

I approached his desk keeping a straight face, picked up his notebook and gave it a shake. "Ah HAH!" I exclaimed as the red pen came out. I picked it up and held it aloft for the class to see. He was completely surprised as the class broke out in laughter, but appreciated the humor. "You set me up," he declared, smiling. We had a good class day of learning after that.

Teaching has become progressively more difficult over the years, with ever more duties and responsibilities assigned with less time to take care of classroom related tasks. It's times like these, which are not forgotten, that make the effort worth it.

armchair coach
amateur historian

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exporting Death

Exporting Death

As of today, the Houtchblog will no longer be mentioned in my class. Never again. Why? Because today I am breaking the politically correct shell and allowing the egg to ooze out, in all it's nasty glory. I will no longer remain silent on this topic.

The chess pieces of history are in motion. There are very real spiritual consequences for these moves, although the players I fear (our political leaders) are blind, deaf and dumb in those regards. How can they not see? The seeds which were sown 224 years ago appear to have not only flowered, but are now bearing fruit. Certainly, those who would buy votes with wealth redistribution would also use their influence to spread a more sinister ideology, with the lives of millions in the balance.

I saw, yes you guessed it, another documentary, that changed my mind about some preconceptions I had, with regards to our founding fathers. Yes, they were brave, bold, keenly intelligent, and steadfast in their determination to break free from the yoke of England. Most of them I fear, were also humanists, members of the Masonic Society, and Christians in name only.

Corruption however, has a way of spreading like water pouring into the cracks of a sidewalk. The more 'power' there is, the more the waters of corruption are present. The Roman Catholic Church was not immune to this during the days of indulgences and the inquisition.

I am referring to the story yesterday found here. Previously, Kenya has not allowed abortions to be performed. Our ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, has promised Kenyan officials two million of our tax dollars to support a constitution (which, incidentally, legalizes abortion.) Vice President Biden is quoted as saying "If you make these changes, I promise you, new foreign private investment will come in like you've never seen," in a speech he delivered last month.

It is reported that Biden has promised Obama would visit the country, but only if the constitution (with the abortion legalization) is passed.

Meanwhile, there has been opposition to a US style constitution for these very reasons. On June 13th, an anti-constitution prayer service was interrupted when two bombs exploded, killing six and injuring over one hundred more, according to a Kenyan newspaper. Additionally, three members of the Kenyan parliament were arrested June 16th for "hate speech." Conveniently, they are the leaders of the opposition against this version of the constitution.

So then, it appears as though we (Americans) have become that which we hate. We are exporting governmental and ideological frameworks to foreign countries, to the detriment of the unborn, in the name of ... freedom? May God have mercy on us all.

armchair coach
amateur historian

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Page of Notes

A Page of Notes

I’m an avid newsreader, preferring to read of national and international events of importance rather than listening to talking heads. I also enjoy documentaries of different kinds, usually involving war and history. Recently, there were two stories I read or watched; it took a while of simmering in my noggin until I saw where these two stories intersected. They appear at different times in history and each has lessons that are apt for today.
The first was a story about the actual Boston Tea Party. It can be found here:

Fascinating. Although the writer was a liberal hack, he came up with some interesting facts and ideas. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Americans were mad, John Hancock in particular, that the British were reducing the cost of tea in America to cut into the illegal tea trade.
2. The British government required all tea to be purchased through them.
3. The British government was subsidizing the East India Tea Company much as Obama and Bush subsidized the banking industry. Consumers were not buying tea with its inflated cost. But wait, there’s more!
4. The author makes a comparison between the tea party of the 1700’s and the tea party of today. He says that it was moral outrage over the taxes themselves that drove the movement, and that it is moral outrage today that drives the Tea Party advocates of today- of the gap between, as he puts it, the “Responsibles and the Deadbeats,” or as Neal Boortz puts it, the “Producers and the Moochers.”

The author tries to defend the incredible amounts of government money which is being spent as well as pointing to the modern Tea Party as zealots who demand the “Deadbeats” be punished. Punished by… not stealing it from those who earned it by way of government?
Here is the way I see it- our current government is duplicating the events of the past which resulted in the colonies break from England. Keep this in mind as we continue.

The Korean War is sometimes called, “The Forgotten War.” I was not too familiar with the specifics of the events until I watched a 2 hour documentary over the weekend. America was just coming out of WWII, many of her valiant young men had died defending freedom against the aggressive Nazis. The Soviet Union, taking advantage of the positioning of her armies, turned all of east Europe into soviet communist puppet states, along with North Korea. Their philosophy was one of expansionism. In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea with the goal of “unifying the country.” Truman sent in General Douglas MacArthur to stop the invasion.

Over the course of several years, the battle went back and forth, each command overextending its supply lines and being driven back. Finally, MacArthur had the North Korean army on the run and had driven them almost to the border with China. What happened next, no one including MacArthur could foresee. The Chinese had amassed a 250,000 man army to retake the north in a chilling winter campaign that our troops were ill prepared for. (You would think they would have learned after Bastogne.) In a series of retreats, the US and United Nations fought back, the Chinese sustaining 150,000 casualties, the US, 50,000. Instead of having the resolve of FDR and sending the troops needed to win, Truman blinked and backed down, agreeing to an armistice ceasing hostilities. Christian Koreans caught behind enemy lines were slaughtered. Civilians were brutally cut down in the hundreds of thousands. Does any of this sound familiar? (Obama does not send troops to Afghanistan at the request of his generals, instead waiting until mounting public pressure and 3 months of studies forces him to do so.)

MacArthur was furious at Truman’s lack of support during a war time operation, and refused to be silenced, much as a recent general who also spoke out against our current president.
My point: There are costs to be counted in ceasing to be firm in the defense of liberty. What was the cost? 60 years of tyrannical rule in North Korea has resulted in 2 million deaths from starvation in the last decade… from starvation, this in spite of relief efforts. North Korea now has the bomb, (thanks, Clinton!) and has tried to export this technology to Syria. North Korea, to put it mildly, has become an unstabilizing influence in the world, threatening war as they did back in 1950.

What do these two events, the Boston Tea Party and the Korean War have in common? The lack of foresight to learn from the lessons of the past. It is true that George Bush was mislead into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, at least those not given to him by his father in the first place (gas weapons that were used against the Kurds.) However, the regime of Saddam Hussein was brutally horrific by any standard, and in waging this war, and winning, it is my belief that inadvertently he may have saved many more lives than those which have been lost during the war.

History will be the judge of the actions and inactions of our leaders. God will be the judge of us all.

armchair coach
amateur historian