Todd Weber's Random Thoughts

June 27, 2008

America At Risk

The recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Second Amendment to the Constitution (enumerating the right of citizens to keep and bear arms) is a victory for freedom and the American way of life.  However, it was a close victory – too close.  The fact that the court was split five-to-four on the decision should cause every American citizen to tremble, and wake us up to the overwhelming importance of the next Presidential election.  It is not only the Second Amendment that is at risk, but the entire Constitution. 

 

There is a strong chance that the next President will likely appoint the next round of Supreme Court justices, as some of the current sitting justices are likely to retire in the next few years.  The two oldest members of the court are John Paul Stevens (88), and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (75).  With the right President, this can be a very good thing.  With the wrong President, it may be disastrous.  If Barak Obama is elected, there is no doubt that he will appoint liberal judges who will treat the Constitution as a “living document” that has no fixed meaning or application; consult international courts and laws for guidance as they adjudicate American law; and continually overstep their strictly judicial responsibilities to legislate from the bench and interfere with the political process.  This may spell the end of America as we know it.

 

John McCain has promised that, if elected, he would follow President Bush’s model in choosing Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. (L.A. Times, May 19, 2008).  These are justices who, along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, are committed to upholding the spirit and principles of the founding fathers.  Such justices are needed on the court to guide our country by the rule of law, rather than by the arbitrary, fluid and subjective pursuit of so-called social justice, as Obama would have it.

 

As stated by the attorney who defended the Second Amendment before the court, this is not the end of the matter, but merely the end of the beginning.  There will be more lawsuits challenging the Second Amendment and other long-held American rights and liberties, and we must not give up the fight to preserve our way of life.  A vote for John McCain for President is a vote for a conservative Supreme Court and to preserve the American way of life.  God bless America.

June 25, 2008

My First Shark Encounter!

Filed under: Scuba — tkweber @ 5:16 am

The best of several body shots

I did two dives this morning with my buddy Dan at Three Tree Point, Burien, WA (Puget Sound).  It was good but uneventful until we nearly bumped into a six-gill shark (8ft long) at a depth of 60ft.  Visibility was only 10-20ft.  Dan saw it first and was close enough to touch it.  Talk about shock and awe!  The shark didn’t seem to mind us as he moved slowly through the murky green water.  We followed close, trying to get a good camera shot, but after the first glimpse it didn’t profile again. We stayed with him for a few minutes until he turned and moved into deeper water.  We were already on our return trip, low on gas, so didn’t follow, although it was very tempting.  We turned in the opposite direction and headed for the beach, both of us feeling a bit anxious knowing there was a large predator somewhere in the dark behind us.  A few moments later, at about 30ft, we came upon a school of white squid (15-20), 5-6 inches long, and what appeared to be an egg sack attached to a branch of some type of sea foliage.  They swam away as we approached, but a few seemed to hang back to study me as I studied them.  They were just inches from my mask. 

On our second dive we hoped to encounter the shark again, but did not.  Instead, we saw two wolf eels, a giant pacific octopus and two large rat fish.  Dan took several nice photos, some of which are shown here. We didn’t get a full body shot of the shark due to his size, moving away from us, and low visibility.

This was, without question, my best diving experience so far.  Simply awesome!  This one will long be remembered.

June 23, 2008

Compulsory Compassion

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — tkweber @ 10:26 pm

Is compassion really compassion if one is forced to do it?  Liberals want America to be more compassionate by providing all sorts of tax-funded hand-outs (welfare, nationalized healthcare, social security, etc.).  It’s standard practice for liberals to bash conservatives as cold, heartless, mean people who want take everything for themselves and leave nothing for the so-called less fortunate; however, it’s an empty argument.  The issue really isn’t about compassion at all.  It’s about Marxist wealth redistribution laying a pathway to full-on communism (like that’s been real successful).  It is taking by force from the haves and giving by farce to the have-nots.

 

If person A sees person B in need, and person A decides not help person B, that may be a lack of compassion (of course, there may be other reasons).  However, if person A is forced to help by the government taking what belongs to him by taxing his productivity and giving his money to person B, does this make person A more compassionate?  No.  It just makes him poorer, and may eventually diminish his desire or ability to produce.  Does this demonstrate the government’s compassion?  No.  First, it devalues the virtues of independence, initiative, industry, creativity and thrift, upon which success and prosperity are built.  Second, it penalizes one person in order to help another.  In other words, why is person B worthy of compassion, but not person A?  Does person A have to fend for himself in the cold cruel world simply because he is willing and able to do so, while person B gets a free pass to live off the efforts of others?

 

I believe in compassion, and I am a compassionate person who has helped many people in need, and will continue to do so.  However, compassion is only compassion when one chooses to give it of his/her own free will.  One may be forced into compliance, but not into compassion.  Real voluntary compassion results in gratification and peace for both the giver and receiver.  Attempts to mandate compassion through taxation and redistribution result in anger and resentment among those who “give,” and dependence and perceived entitlement among those who receive. 

 

If you feel there is a lack of compassion in society or the world, then do what you can to change it by being personally compassionate and convincing others to join you.  Don’t force others to participate in fake philanthropy by passing laws and raising taxes so that you can feel like you’re making a difference.  

 

June 12, 2008

Supreme Court Disaster

The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts is a disaster for our nation, and highlights the extreme importance of electing a President who will appoint strict Constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court as current liberal judges retire in the next few years (hopefully).  Our best choice at this time is Senator John McCain.

Granting foreign terror suspects Constituional rights within civilian courts is exactly what the terrorists have been hoping for.  They will use our convoluted legal system against us, costing millions of taxpayer dollars, decades of court time in endless trials and appeals, and eventually be set free to continue their murderous Islamo-fascist assault on the free world.  In the meantime, they’ll be enjoying free room and board in our prison system, which is a posh existence compared to their armpit countries of origin that are keepin’ it real, 7th-century-style, until the return of Mohamed.  (Thanks for the phrase, Jaime.) 

When will Americans wake up and realize that terrorism isn’t about lack of opportunities, third-world poverty, social justice, or even so-called American imperialism?  It’s about world domination and the convert-or-die madness of radical Islamists.  They don’t want to negotiate; they want to exterminate.

Barak Hussein Obama thinks his warm heart and smooth words will salve the hatred of radical Islam.  Did words help Daniel Pearl?  Should his murderers and their comrades be granted the luxury of trial in American civil courts?  Absolutely not.  Stop the lunacy of the Supreme Court by electing John McCain and pressing him to appoint truly conservative judges throughout the federal court system. 

June 11, 2008

Embrace the Mystery

I have just read an article in the May/June 2008 issue of Outreach in which a former New Testament scholar and pastor describes his departure from Christian faith to agnosticism.  Apparently, his breaking point was his inability “to reconcile all the pain and misery in the world with the belief that there is a God in charge of it.”  It’s a sad story.  A Christian turning to agnosticism doesn’t indicate a failure of one’s faith, but rather his failure to exercise faith.  It’s not that Christianity isn’t up to the challenge, but that some believers give up in the face of the challenge.

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).  In order to succeed and persevere in the Christian faith, one must embrace the mystery of it all.  The believer must be willing to admit and accept that some things may never be understood during our earthly existence.  This does not deny the validity of curiosity and reasoned inquiry, i.e. the search for truth.  Jesus himself said that the Holy Spirit would guide believers in truth (John 16:13).  Indeed, there are some very reasonable and biblically sound theories for why God allows so much pain and misery in the world.  However, the Bible nowhere states or implies that believers would be given understanding of all things.  On the contrary, we are admonished to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).

 

Many are the times my own faith has been challenged by circumstances and difficult philosophical questions, yet it remains strong.  The reason for this is largely due to the reality of my relationship and experience with God.  I have personally experienced and witnessed in others the genuine presence and grace of the living God, confirmed and validated by the Bible, enough that I cannot deny the reality of his existence.  There have been times when, for various reasons, I have contemplated giving up my faith in Jesus Christ, the church and his people, but I always come back to the landmark experiences of divine visitation and intervention in my life and the lives of people I have known.  If my faith were based on the biblical text alone, I may have given up by now.  But because my knowledge of God’s word has been confirmed by my experience with God himself, I cannot cease to believe in him.  And, if God is real, then he is also in control and he is much smarter and wiser than I; therefore, I will continue to trust him even when I don’t understand why certain things are allowed to happen, or when questions remain unanswered.  

 

I truly hope the man mentioned above will soon realize his error and return to faith in Jesus Christ.  I hope he will go beyond intellectual agreement with the Bible to find a genuine personal relationship with its divine author and learn to trust him with the mysteries of this life. 

June 10, 2008

Free Speech Under Siege

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Tags: , , , , , — tkweber @ 1:10 am

Author Mark Steyn is being railroaded by the Canadian government for speaking the truth, and the mainstream media isn’t saying a word about it.  Read about it here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/show_trial.html

I highly recommend Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, a fascinating and important book for our time.

 

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