Friday, December 27, 2013

Maybe We Should Thank Phil For The Conversation?

What can be said about the “Phil Incident” that wasn't already been said? For those living in a bubble, the popular reality TV star Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty Fame, was quoted in a QG magazine interview as saying homosexuality was a sin, Nazi’s needed Jesus, and he never saw the mistreatment of any black person growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era.

Granted this statement was BOUND to inflame emotions in today’s world of political correctness, but what happened as a result of his statement has inflamed even more emotions. In a world where we avoid uncomfortable conversation or topics maybe we should THANK Phil? Today we are discussing our constitutional rights being taken away, taking about the rights of homosexuals, talking about the actual mistreatment blacks did in fact suffer before the civil rights movement, and we’re even talking about Jesus in our personal lives.

The network sponsoring the Duck Dynasty show, A & E, hypocritically fired the man then ran a 36 hour duck dynasty marathon, cashing in on the controversy it itself created from his firing. Will Phil return after all the fuss has died down? Will Phil go on to bigger and better things? Will this whole story REALLY change anything? Who knows but instead of  being so overly sensitive maybe we should thank Phil for the conversation?



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Star in Her Crown of Glory

From time to time as a child my mother would make references to what she thought was in the bible, and of course her being my mother, I took what she said as the “gospel”. One phrase I often heard he say when she had heard someone had done an exceptionally selfless act of kindness or generosity that that person had won “another star in their crown of glory”. I asked her once what it meant and she said someday I’d stand before the Lord to be judged and if I had lived a good life the Lord would let me stay in heaven with him and wear a golden crown. She went on to say that that crown would be my crown of glory with starts showing how many good deeds I had done while on earth and how many people I had helped along the way. I took her for her word and for the most part I've helped those in need in my life when I could.

Many years ago I had just separated from my spouse of 25 years, most of them good, but the last few very turbulent for me. After such a split I think most folks go through various emotions ranging from guilt to even feelings of a lack of self-worth. Christmas has always been special to me and my large family always gathered on Christmas Eve at my parent’s home. I always loved being there on Christmas Eve, but this first Christmas Eve as a single person I was alone. I really didn't want to explain my personal decision to divorce to my family, and the kids went to my Ex’s family gathering leaving me alone on the one evening I dearly wanted to be home and not alone.

I decided I’d go out and about and not sit at home with all the depressing thoughts running through my head, some of which I’m embarrassed to say could have been my last thoughts on this earth. I went to a local bar I sometimes stopped by for a quick drink and found that someone must had secretly placed a sign above my head saying, “All complete losers please sit next to me”, it didn't take long for me to figure out this was no place for me on Christmas Eve. I left the bar and just drove around determined not to sit at home alone and let these feelings of depression get the best of me.

Before long I drove by one of the only restaurants open near my home on Christmas Eve and decided maybe a big fat steak would cheer me up. I pulled in to see how much longer they might be open and standing at the door was an old classmate from high school. She immediately smiled and greeted me a hearty “Merry Christmas” and a hug. I got to tell you that was the best hug I had had in a very long time, If not the best, the most needed for sure. She asked what I was doing out alone and I only told her I was newly single and didn't want to be home alone tonight. She smiled and said she hadn't had her dinner break yet and asked if I wanted company with my meal, boy did I ever!


It's funny how life works, I had not seen her in years and nor have I our paths crossed since, but on the one night I needed company more than anything, maybe the Lord sent me that angle. Her simple act of kindness to have a meal with me on that Christmas Eve renewed my faith in God, in myself, and in my belief that things would be alright on my new life. I still have no idea if my mother knew what she was talking about but I’d like to believe my old friend surely received “A star in her crown of glory” that night.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

When is a law not a law?


ABC NEWS on its website reported a story about the possibility of homosexual athletes and fans at the 2014 Olympics being prosecuted under its new law that forbids, "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" around minors. This will include public displays of affection like holding hands or displaying gay pride rainbow flags. Russians citizens face fines and possible jail time, foreigners could additionally face deportation.

A Russian lawmaker, Vitaly Milonov, was quoted saying,

"If a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn't have the authority," he reportedly said, stressing that he has not heard anything different from Russian officials.

In our country we have a similar system of government where congress makes laws and our president signs them into law. We however have allowed our president the ignore laws he does not agree with, like D.O.M.A. and the employer mandate on the A.C.A., with no repercussions.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I personally do not agree with the Russian law, although I do acknowledge they have the right to make laws that they want to live by, as do we in our country. If they or we do not like a law we vote in politicians that are more in line with our personal beliefs and have the law amended legally, it is unlawful to simply ignore a legal law in either country. My question is when is it ok to simply ignore a law, and if it's OK to ignore a law I don't like how can I complain when someone chooses to ignore a law I do agree with?


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's at Least Agree to the Conversation

Wow...I have to say for the longest time I felt a bit 'out of sorts'. I love to blog and share my thoughts online and for the longest time I did just that. Awhile back I posted on my Newsvine blog a copy of my blog from this site , http://nativerobin.blogspot.com/2013/02/when-is-fetus-child.html , the content material was very divisive as it dealt with the question of abortion.

Logging on to make a post one day I noticed that my blog had been pulled with no explanation. I will admit this messed with my head a bit and after several emails with no satisfactory excuse given i came to the conclusion I had been censored by the site simply because they didn't agree with me? As much as I didn't want to think about it threw me into a writer's block that has taken quite awhile to shake off. I mean what's the sense in posting if it's removed by people that are mis-guided, I mean don't agree with me.   

Finally, today I got my blog entry re-instated to the site and this huge weight is off my chest. So I'm posting now that I hope you visit this blog often as I'm going to let the blogging begin again! I think the world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything but let's at least agree to the conversation.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

What would you be willing to do to make a difference?


Recently we heard the inspiring story of a 18 year old man named Jhaqueil Reagan. He was a young man that set out to walk 10 miles for a job interview for a cashier job that pays minimum wage. Along the way he stopped to ask directions from a local restaurant owner who pointed him in the right direction, later the restaurant owner spotted Mr. Reagan still walking and offered him a ride. As they traveled he learned the young man was raising his younger siblings and trying to do the right thing all on his own. The restaurant owner admired the young man and offered him a job at his restaurant, saying, “It’s been a while since I’ve met someone so young with a work ethic like that!”

Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul was given the floor of the senate and to prove a point he filibustered for nearly 13 hours, blocking the confirmation vote for the president's CIA nominee John Brennan. Sen. Paul took issue that the president's current drone policy allowing him to be judge, jury, and executioner of not only people deemed foreign terrorist but Americans as well. I watched Sen. Paul on TV for awhile, he spoke passionately, mostly without notes, and  won the hearts of conservatives as well as many liberals.

Both of these men made worldwide news for what they did, both of these men were only doing what came naturally from their heart, but neither of these men did anything that was superhuman or really beyond the ability of the average person. What they both DID do was not accept the status quo or accept that making a difference in other people's lives was beyond their abilities. It's easy to admire these men and at the same time wonder, "What would you be willing to do to make a difference"?



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mr. President THE SKY IS NOT FALLING


Listening to our President's statements as of late concerning the sequestration and you'd think the sky was about to fall, but by looking at a few FACTS we truly get a different picture. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) announced that during the month of February alone the National Debt increased by $253,497,921.33. The Presidents "Doom and Gloom" predictions of massive government lay-offs, pay reductions, flight delays, un-safe food, etc. have not planned out nor will they likely anytime soon. The CBO states that $35 billion in discretionary outlays and $9 billion in mandatory spending only amount to $44 billion for 2013 with additional cut happening in later years.

I'm trying figure just how a reduction of $44 billion for the entire YEAR will hurt the funding efforts of a government that borrowed nearly $253.5billion in ONE MONTH. One needs to also keep in mind that the sequestration cuts were only cuts in additional spending, not actual cuts to current spending levels, and even though sequestration cuts were allowed to go in effect we still experience massive increases in government spending over last year.

As we calm down and realize sequestration cuts didn't hurt us one bit we also find out from the CBO that for 2012 the federal government took in a record amount of tax dollars to the tune of $2.7 trillion. Which begs the questions , "If we are taking in record amounts of tax dollars why do we need higher taxes" and  also, "If we take in more in tax dollars now than ever before why are we still borrowing record amounts of money"? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out we do not have a revenue problem as suggested by our President but truly we have a spending problem, and yes Mr. President THE SKY IS NOT FALLING.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In Chicago "The definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions over and over expecting a different result"


Reported on chicago.cbslocal.com

Good news on the crime front in Illinois’ second largest city.
There were zero murders in Aurora in 2012. That hasn’t happened since 1946.
The last murder in Aurora was in December of 2011. In the 1990s, Aurora averaged one murder per month.
Police Chief Greg Thomas acknowledged he’s surprised there were no murders in Aurora last year. He said it’s the culmination of a long team effort, and the results have been dramatic.
In 1996, Aurora had 357 shootings and 26 murders; last year, there were only 61 shootings, and no murders.
Thomas credited a crackdown on gangs, assisted by federal authorities.
“If you look at about 2005 to 2007, we took about 150 high-ranking gang members, shooters off the streets in Aurora, with help from federal partnerships with the ATF and FBI. I think that was a big contributor,” Thomas said.
Thomas said there are no quick fixes for reducing the number of murders in any community.
He said, in addition to help from the community, and getting kids into after-school programs and the Junior ROTC, there was a lot of work over a long period of time from Aurora police and law enforcement from the state and federal governments.
Thomas said Aurora started focusing in 2005 on the worst of the repeat criminals and getting them locked up in federal prisons. The police department also tried to keep young people from joining gangs through it’s “Knock and Talk” program.
If the police caught wind that a certain young person was trying to become involved in a gang, police would talk to the young person’s parent and inform them of the signs to watch for from their son or daughter.
Rev. Pat McManus, pastor at Kingdom Impact Center, is one of several aurora ministers who held prayer vigils at every murder scene in past years, encouraging neighbors to fight back.
“We’re all working together, doing the same thing, having the same focus to truly see the city turn,” he said.
East Aurora was once the center of much of the city’s gang and drug violence, but in the neighborhoods, and the lively businesses, residents feel the change.
“I believe my kids are in less danger,” one woman said.
“I feel a lot safer,” one man said.
“I think it should get out, you know? Come live in aurora, It’s a safe place,” another man said.
Thomas also credited use of the CompStat system, which uses crime statistics to focus police resources on hot spots of activity. That same system is a key part of Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s fight against gangs in Chicago.
Thomas said, in addition to a host of crime-fighting and crime-prevention strategies, luck also played a part in hitting that milestone.

You'd think with the success Aurora is having, the largest city in Illinois might take notice, not at all. Instead the "Godfather" Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sees only the opportunity to further his own agenda of gun control. By examining the Chicago Police's own report on gun violence it's clear to see Chicago does NOT have a gun problem, but has a HUGE gang problem.
Aurora used the same type of data that Chicago uses to address the cause of the it's gun violence and has gotten results that can't be denied. Let's take a look at Chicago's data: Chicago police portal.


Murder victims by race/ethnicity 2011
Murder offenders by race/ethnicity 2011
white
20
white
6
black
326
black
122
hispanic
82
hispanic
42
other
5
other
1
Murder victims by age group 2011
under 10yrs.
10-13yrs.
14-16yrs.
17-25yrs.
26-35yrs.
36-45yrs.
46-55yrs.
over 55yrs.
10
2
21
196
114
42
32
14
Murder offenders by age group 2011
under 10yrs.
10-13yrs.
14-16yrs.
17-25yrs.
26-35yrs.
36-45yrs.
46-55yrs.
over 55yrs.
0
0
7
91
45
14
10
4
Murder offers by sex
Murders caused by common motives 2011
female
18
street gang altercation
118
male
153
gangland narcotics
26
armed robbery
32
domestic altercation
17
Murder victims with prior arrest history
No
100
Yes
333
Murder offenders with prior arrest history
No
22
Yes
151

Looking at these numbers it's easy to see real patterns. Most gun violence is black on black, is most likely gang related, and both the victim and offender most likely have an arrest history, of course this is not the case every time. If Chicago could address the most common causes of murders in its city it could possibly see the same kind of results Aurora has achieved. Aurora's results are not speculation but are real and measurable. My message to Mayor Emanuel would be simply, "The definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions over and over expecting a different result"    


Using Lent is a Great Way to Appreciate the Easter Season


Today is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras which is French for Fat Tuesday. Today we feast before the fasting of lent, which starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. Although these are traditionally considered Catholic holidays many people will be celebrating this holiday in popular places like New Orleans.

With lent coming Wednesday let's look at how we celebrate the season of lent...

Reported on wikihow.com

Make a Lenten calendar. Such a calendar will help you to focus on the progression of the Lenten season. Lent is 40 days long and doesn't include Sundays. It ends the Friday before Easter; count backwards from there.


Decide on your Lenten sacrifice. Your sacrifice is a reminder of the sacrifice of self Jesus made to save us from our sins. Think about all the trivial things in your life that shift your focus away from God. Do you find that you dedicate more time to sending text messages and posting status updates than to prayer and time with God? Do you have a habit of eating junk food excessively?


Take something on. While many people choose to give harmful things up for Lent, you could use the season to help you build good habits. You could promise to be more patient and kind toward your neighbor, or you could vow to help the needy. Whether you choose to sacrifice or to adopt new, strengthening habits, you should allow your Lenten promises to help you grow in faith and virtue.

Attend Mass as often as possible. In addition to weekly Sunday service, it's good to go to church frequently, especially during the Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday when we remember that we come from dust and to dust we shall return. Many traditions often have an additional worship service in mid-week, and attendance at these services is a good way to participate in Lent.
3. 

Go to Reconciliation. Reconciliation, or Confession, is a wonderful way to turn away from sin and reunite yourself with Christ. If you don't already, try getting into the habit of going to Confession on a regular basis. The Catholic Church has made it obligatory that all the faithful receive the sacrament of Penance at least once a year and once during the season of Lent, though it's recommended that you attend Confession at least once a month if possible.
4.      
Spend time on devotions. Though not required, devotions are a great way to put yourself in the right mindset for Lent. The Church highly encourages Adoration of God or the veneration of the Blessed Virgin and the saints. Your local parish probably has regular Eucharistic Adoration, where you can go to sit and engage in deep prayer, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. To practice veneration, you could say a decade of the Rosary daily, or pray to your patron saint.
5.      7
Fast and abstain. All Catholics aged fourteen and older are asked to abstain from meat on Lenten Fridays, though fish is allowed to be eaten. Additionally, Catholics aged 18-59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Lenten Fridays, meaning that only one full meal may be eaten in the day.

Whether or not you are Catholic, if you are a Christian, using Lent is a great way to appreciate the Easter season. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

What the modern Catholic church needs is a younger more vibrant leader at its helm.


Today we got the surprise announcement  from the Vatican that on Feb. 28th Pope Benedict XVI will resign, the first Pope to do so in nearly 600 years.

     In his statement, Pope Benedict -- who turns 86 in April -- said he had come to the certainty "that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."

Benedict was known for his die hard position on the old Catholic beliefs that were against the ordination of women and marriage for priests. He opposed homosexuality and communism and was never afraid of upsetting political sensibilities. His beliefs often made him look out of touch with many Catholics and the steady decline in church membership reflected that.
What's next for the Catholic Church? Do they take this opportunity to elect possibly a younger more "In touch" Pope, maybe one that people can relate to and feel more compelled to attend Mass once again? Or stay just follow their most recent selection with another just like him? One thing is for sure the process may be hundreds of years old but what the modern Catholic church needs is a younger more vibrant leader at its helm.  


Saturday, February 2, 2013

When is a fetus a child?


reported on newsmax.com

The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to prohibit most abortions if a heartbeat is detected, ignoring warnings from opponents that banning the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy would invite lawsuits. If enacted, the ban would be the most stringent in the nation. The Ohio House passed a similar ban in 2011, but it was sidelined in the Senate last year over concerns that it might be found unconstitutional. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters Thursday that's the same concern that he's researching.

"I'm waiting on lawyers. I think that's the big concern right now — does it run afoul of the Supreme Court or constitutional restrictions?" Beebe said. "That's the first thing we're looking at."....

.... The Senate approved the proposed "Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act" by a 26-8 vote. The measure, which now heads to a House committee, requires a test to detect a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. If one is detected, a woman could not have an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and if a mother's life is in danger.

I, like the President, have personally "evolved" on a few issues were I previously did not have much of an opinion but now have very strong feelings. Never would we have even considered abortion during my married years so I pretty much stayed focused on the issues I felt more directly pertained to my life, which I think many people tend to do as well.

The growth of the internet during my adult life has opened my mind to more information, more details, stories of how things like abortion effect EVERYONE.  A simple "Google" search can open hundreds if not thousands of horrible pictures of the whole abortion process and the dead "infants" laying in pieces in a crash can like common garbage. Black pastors across the nation decry abortion as killing off a generation of blacks making them now a minority to both the White and Latino populations of  this country. 

The  abortion process has eliminated of 54 million potential working class Americans in a time when America is in economic crisis, denying all Americans of the potential revenue of the taxes they would have generated had they been alive and working.  

Ask virtually anyone the simple question, "Would you support the right to kill a living healthy baby if a mother didn't want to raise the child", and I'm sure you'd hear an over whelming, "NO of course not"!  I mean we do have laws against the killing of anyone, it's called murder.  So I'm thinking  laws like they are proposing in Arkansas are starting a now bigger conversation, asking now a different question, "When is a fetus a child"?  


Friday, February 1, 2013

The desire of this white house and the democratic party is to further dis-arm law abiding citizens plain and simple.


Reported on Breitbart.com


When the rubber hits the road, when the stark and very real choice is either empty political posturing with useless gun control laws or doing something practical to protect your children, the only people laughing at the NRA are a media determined to protect anything and everything involving Barack Obama. Today the Newtown Board of Education made the only choice any parent can:  It voted to put armed guards in its schools:
The vote, for now, only represents a request — it still needs to clear budget and logistical boundaries since the guards would come from the town's police resources as opposed to the school board itself. But the plan 'would put two eyes and ears -- one armed, one unarmed -- at each Newtown school,' reports Bronxville Patch's Davis Dunavin. The guards, officially called school resource officers (SROs), were already a fixture at all Newtown schools in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, but until this vote they were budgeted only to be a presence at middle and high Schools, according to NBC Connecticut. 
The current push for gun controls by The State and its media is nothing more than another front in the relentless culture wars against Red State Americans and Bitter Clingers. None of the proposed laws would have stopped the Sandy Hook murderer, which should tell you everything you need to know.
Meanwhile, in Democrat-run Chicago, there's a Newtown every month. But the only solution to that problem would be admitting harsh gun control laws and liberalism run amok have failed. So the media would rather Chicago's monthly Sandy Hook goes on than ever admit to such an inconvenient truth.
The NRA proposed putting armed guns in schools, and now the school board closest to this tragedy agrees.
Keep laughing and ignoring Chicago, media. You’re only fooling your corrupt selves.
 It really is telling when you consider that because of the spin of the lame-stream media virtually no one I have talked to realizes that, in fact, NO ASSAULT RIFLES WERE USED AT SANDY HOOK. If our politicians were so concerned about preventing another such attack wouldn't it make more since to at least address the actual facts of Sandy Hook? Even a simpleton with half a brain would think to look at what caused it in the first place if you were truly looking to prevent it from happening again. CLEARLY Sandy hook is just another of the exploited tragic events that the left has chosen as Rahm Emanuel has so famously been quoted as saying, "Never let a good tragedy go to waste". The desire of this white house and the democratic party is to further dis-arm law abiding citizens plain and simple.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The new "pathway to citizenship" is profoundly unfair!


“Profoundly unfair,” was the description Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz offered for the pathway to citizenship a bipartisan “gang of eight” senators unveiled Monday in their immigration reform proposal. I was struck by his words knowing he is of Latin decent and his family were, at one time, immigrates to this country. I thought, "Why wouldn't he above all appreciate helping so many obtain legal status"?

So with that question in mind I let Google do the searching and found  gov't. document M-565, "How Do I Apply for U.S. Citizenship?" Seems the requirements for folks "legally" living in the United States and seeking to become citizens are pretty tough.

Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:
•           Be age 18 or older; 
•           Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually 5 years but less     for some individuals)
•           Be a person of good moral character;     
•           Have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government;       
•           Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States
•           Be able to read, write, and speak  basic English. There are exceptions to this rule           
           for someone who:
- Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15  years; or        
- Is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20  years; or        
-Has a permanent  physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to   
  fulfill these requirements.

After reading what Sen. Cruz's family went through to LEGALLY come to our country and become LEGAL citizens I can completely understand his statement now. I myself wonder how you could give a person a pass on the requirement "Be a good person of moral character" after they ILLEGALLY crossed our boarder, ILLEGALLY worked here, and ILLEGALLY lived here? The fact they have done it for a number of years doesn't suddenly change the fact that it's ILLEGAL.

Easy for me to agree the new "pathway to citizenship" is profoundly unfair!




Monday, January 28, 2013

"You are to do as I say not as I do"


I remember very vividly when I was young my mother slapping me upside the head for repeating something I had heard her say, often I wasn't quite sure what is was it meant, but it made me feel more grown up repeating her. More times than not she'd give me a surprised look followed closely by "the slap" and say, "You are to do as I say not as I do". My response was more like why did she do that, rather worrying about being slapped.

 

Now as an adult the familiar experience of being told, "You are to do as I say not as I do", but this time it's not my mother, it's congress. Recently Sen. Feinstein proposed  sweeping new gun restrictions limiting more of my 2nd amendment rights. Reading through the proposal it I started to get that familiar feeling as I read that all these new restrictions would not apply to any former or current law enforcement officers, nor any federal officials, including of course Sen. Feinstein.

 

Clear as day I could hear my mother saying, "You are to do as I say not as I do", and half expecting the feel of the follow up slap upside my head by Sen. Feinstein.