Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Break from Politics--Theology and Languages

Time for a break from politics. I find politics very interesting and believe that it is important for us to keep up with current events and participate as citizens in the political process. On the other hand, I have other interests and want to write about those sometimes.

Take theology. I am curious about it. What is it that people do when they "do theology"? I have been searching around the internet for some basic information about it. In a sense, it seems almost like math, where you use proofs to present/defend a point/doctrine. Is that what it is?

In my searches for information and instruction, it seems that the websites I find are directed toward "doing theology" for a specific religion. So what if that religion is not mine and I do not believe some of the same things in quite the same way? I can't use some of the "givens" that they use. What do I do then?

I do not have any ambition of doing a lot of theology, so perhaps it is enough to just read about it and learn what the different types are and what their purpose is. Still, it is interesting and I would like to know more about the mechanics of it, if only so that I can read theology more intelligently. If any of you out there have any suggestions or links, please feel free to put them in a comment.

How about languages? What languages do you speak? Do you think it is important, as a foundation, to learn Latin? How about Greek and Hebrew? Do you study more than one language at the same time? Does that make it more difficult or is it helpful? I speak English and am interested in reviving my Spanish, which I studied in several classes in grade school, high school, and college, then let whither away. I have books and CDs to study from. In addition, there are more and more native speakers around with whom I could practice. That makes it the most practical language for me to (re)learn. I am interested in Latin and never had the chance to study it. Many of our words come from Latin, so it seems to me that it would be useful in understanding meanings.

Comments?

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Concerns About the Serious Undermining of America

It appears to me that this election year is bringing up a lot of information that points to an undermining of America by the Democrat leadership, although there are those in all parties who are contributing to the effort, just as there are those in all parties who are appalled by the liberal/leftist/Marxist tactics being used in American politics today.

There are a lot of so-called crises being emphasized with the idea that a government take-over of various businesses (healthcare and oil come immediately to mind) will offer the solution. In reality, any crisis can usually be traced to government interference. Take energy for example. It is Congress blocking the development of American energy resources that has caused the current high price of gasoline. It is Congress that has made us dependent on foreign oil. It is Congress who has mandated ethanol and siphoned corn and other food grains off the food market and into a questionable energy production effort.

What concerns me most is that the American people are allowing the government to take away our freedoms a bit at a time through passage of laws that are supposed to improve our lives, but that actually degrade them by taking away freedom, choice, motivation to work hard and enjoy the fruits of our labors, and taxing us into poverty. That sounds extreme, but it is the direction in which we are headed, if we don't stand up and tell the government to back off. The Federal government actually has very few responsibilities, as listed in the Constitution. The state governments have a few more responsibilities, but those are limited as well. The people are to be free. Period. End of discussion. Instead, we are subjected to more and more government takeover of things that are best left to private enterprise and the free market.

I read three articles at American Thinker this morning that summarize the kind of thing government and politicians are trying to do. I am linking to them below because I believe that Americans are too smart and too independent to allow this to continue to happen. They just need to be more aware of what is happening so that they can stand up against it.

"Why do we Call Them 'Democrats'?" by Lance Fairchok

"High Gas Prices and the Marxist Tactic of Crisis Revolution" by AWR Hawkins

"Will Estonia Liberate the United States?" by Nicholas J. Kaster

Read and ponder.

Also, at Capitol Hill Coffee House you can read "Democracy Hijacked" by JB Williams. (Thanks to JR for that link.)

We owe it to our country and ourselves to carefully consider what makes this country great and what erodes that greatness. Then we need to work to stop the erosion. Nothing worthwhile comes without effort and persistence. History tells us the end results of socialism and communism. We don't have to go there to find out for ourselves how bad it is.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Politics and Government

There are many articles I could link to today--articles about how we need to develop our own energy resources in the US, articles about the problems with global warming and the economic crisis that would follow if we start passing a bunch of restrictive laws, the problems that government generates, the problems an Obama presidency would create, and so forth. There are so many subjects that we as citizens need to be aware of so that we are acting and voting responsibly. I think that what I will do for today's post is simply list links to articles that can give us all something to think about in various areas.

The Climate Alarmist Manifesto by Marc Sheppard

Thank You, Big Oil by Todd Keister

Revisiting Obama's Speech to AIPAC by Rick Richman

Increase American-Made Energy to Reduce Gas Prices by Rep. John Boehner

Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas by John Coleman

Bag-Man for Ecoextremists by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson

Congressional Problem Creation by Walter Williams

The Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008 Will Only Increase Gas Prices and Energy Costs by Ben Lieberman

Liberty's Best Hope: Why American Leadership is Needed for the 21st Century by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D.; Henry R Nau, Ph.D.; and Dov Zakheim, Ph.D.

Who is Obama? Where is the Press? by Tony Blankley

I realize that is a long list of articles, but they give a good overview of some of the serious problems facing America today.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Energy Concerns

With gas prices, and other prices, rising, we are all getting concerned. In spite of the Senate's dog-and-pony show grilling oil execs, the oil companies are not the problem. In fact, they would be the major solution, if we would let them. The problem is our government, which is supposed to be working for us, but often is not. The government has so seriously restricted the USA from developing its own energy resources that we find ourselves hog-tied. It is time, as they say, to stop the madness.

I realize that environmental concerns are real. However, no company is going to risk the problems that would come to them if they carelessly polluted the environment while developing natural resources. In addition, with today's technology and know-how, we can develop our resources in a much cleaner way than in the past. We need to be good stewards of the earth and its resources, but that does not mean, "Don't touch anything!"

A number of countries are drilling off shore in various places around the world--Russia and Cuba (with China), some of the European countries, and so forth. I am not saying we should "follow the crowd" just to be following the crowd. I am saying that other countries are busily developing resources, and since we need to as well, why aren't we?

The resources I am talking about are oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy. All of these need to be developed, starting now. In addition, we can continue working on alternative resources, such as wind, solar, liquid coal methods, and biofuels. Regarding that last, I believe the powers that be jumped the gun on ethanol. It needs work to be more efficient and less polluting. There is also much research needed in all areas, and we need to increase our refining capacity. This all takes time and huge amounts of money. Oil companies need the profits they are getting in order to do research and development. They actually get very little of the $4.00 from each gallon of gas--the government takes a far larger share.

I have a number of links to share with you about this issue. Please feel free to mention others in the comments. There are many more informative links around the internet with facts and figures on energy and the environment.


Federal Government sites:


US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (see especially the Minority Page)


US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


The House Committee on Energy and Commerce


The House Committee on Natural Resources


The House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming


These provide a starting point for learning about what the government is doing and not doing. You can email the committees as well as individual legislators to tell them what you feel is needed or not needed. Don't forget to find out what your state legislature is doing and give them feedback, as well. In addition to the energy issue, you can look at the committee pages for other issues of concern and email about those, also.


A petition:


American Solutions Petition (this is to be presented to the federal government and is about energy. Details on the site.)


Some informative articles:


"Drill Here, Drill Now" by Jed Babbin (This is the article that told me about the above petition and it discusses the petition.)


"Congress, Gasoline and Hearings--Look! There's a Diversion" by George Landrith


"Top 10 Energy Questions for the US Senate" by Human Events


"Carbon Chastity: The First Commandment of the Church of the Environment" by Charles Krauthammer


"Environmentalists' Wild Predictions" by Walter Williams


"Congressional Problem Creation" by Walter Williams


"Too 'Complex'?", "Too 'Complex'? Part II", and "Too 'Complex'? Part III" by Thomas Sowell (This is about economics and supply and demand, but mentions energy as one issue involved.)


"When 'Market-Based' is a Fa├žade" by George Will


"How Al Gore is Getting Fat off of a Starving World" by Jerry Bowyer (about food prices as affected by ethanol)


"Oil Crisis Solved by Resources, Not Gimmicks" by Kathryn Jean Lopez


"Coal-Cap Disaster" by Lawrence Kudlow


"Windfall-Profit Nonsense" by John Stossel


"Gas Prices and the Blame Game" by Ed Feulner

"The 'Big Oil' Witch Hunt" by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson


The Heritage Foundation's Energy and Environment page (Here you will find dozens of well-researched articles about various aspects of energy and environment issues.)


This seems like a long list of links, but the energy situation needs to be resolved now because it will take time to get the various energy production projects going, and to build nuclear plants and expand refineries. If Bill Clinton hadn't vetoed a bill that would have allowed all this in 1995, we would now be enjoying the benefits of producing much of our own energy and who knows how much farther along we would be in the research and development of alternative energy resources? I ask you to read these articles and look into what our government is doing. Then contact your government representatives and let them know that the time for foolishness is over and it is time America produced its own energy freely.

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