Friday, November 30, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #53

If the purpose of elections is to win only, the Democrats have proven they are the more capable. But if the purpose of elections is to place representatives into office who will help move the nation in the direction that the founders put in place, with the best long-term interests of its peoples in the foreground, than the Democrats have failed miserably. Or, more accurately, half of the voting populous has.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

The President's Novel Idea

President Obama has a unique plan to handle the financial crisis, but it will only work if Republicans will get off of their high horses and embrace it. For every $1 in tax revenue (a.k.a. "increases"), there will be $2 in spending cuts. Novel! And it will work! The solution to the growing debt has been found. President Obama has shown his incredible, breathtaking intellect at work.

Not so quite. Here is what I want to tell Republicans (and fiscally-minded Democrats - and I know you are out there!):

Ronald Reagan was offered the same plan. He found that the only way to get significant spending cuts would be to accept this and raise taxes.

George H.W. Bush was offered the same plan. Mr. "read my lips: no new taxes" embraced this plan as the only way to get significant spending cuts.

How did that work out? They both accepted tax increases (hurting Reagan's reputation of limited government and literally eliminating Bush's chances for re-election). The promised spending cuts? NEVER HAPPENED. And what did you get? The Democrats trumpeting how the non-tax-increase Republicans LIED and increased taxes when election time came around. They don't care about the debt: they only care about getting votes (and unfortunately, so do you Republicans.) The ruse? "Compromise." In order for the media to show that you are willing to compromise, you need to accept what the Democrats are dishing out. If you don't, you are obstructionists to progress.

If I were you, I would demand to see those cuts put into action FIRST, and THEN allow the tax increase. You know, "show me the cuts, and then I'll show you the money".

Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Hurt me three times??

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

Been awhile since I stopped to write verse. Today, a day known for reflection, has stirred the following from my heart. May it touch yours. -j.p.

Tidings glad
In midst of sorrows
Comfort given
When all seems lost
Looking forward
Glancing backwards
Bending knee
Before the cross
Seeking mercy
Deserving nothing
Arms outstretched
Towards One who's true
Giving thanks
Deep in hardship
A cry for grace
It comes from You
Joy unspoken
Shouts of praise
Tears of cleansing
Purpose to pray
Peace in remembrance
Hope for the future
A life in renewal
Each Thanksgiving Day
J.P. Wiegand
©Emittravel 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #52

You have to understand, the media can't help but give their opinions. 9/11 has changed news in a profound way. Gone are the days of morning, 6 pm and 11 pm news broadcasts. Now you have 24-hour news. Really? There are enough things happening to provide 24-hour news? Of course not. And the repetition would be mind numbing. So, they speculate, postulate, and opinionate. There are discussions with "experts" - usually via a lopsided panel. Human-interest stories to give you the "heart" of the matter at hand. And on and on.

Also, being owned by the entertainment industry doesn't exactly help either.

© Emittravel 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012


Legacy. Something left behind to be remembered by. A statue. A journal. An object or vision of such power that the life of the person it represents is unmistakable - and totally impactful.

I was thinking of such legacies in the Bible: altars - piles of stones; festivals and holidays. Then I thought of one, maybe unintentional, legacy that I haven't heard preached. The book of Exodus describes God's deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt through Moses. The last of the "punishments" upon Egypt for not letting His people go was the death of the first-born male.

In order to differentiate the Egyptian household from the Israelite, and to create a legacy to pass forever along the family lines of Israel, the Passover is initiated. One part of the Passover was to take the blood of the slain lamb and paint it on the door posts and top of the frame. This was a sign to the angel that was coming to "pass over" those particular households. You can read the account in Exodus, chapter 12. The Israelites were to hold an annual Passover, teaching their children so as not to let the memory fade from their culture.

Here is where the unintentional(?) legacy comes in. The Israelites had departed, taking all of their belongings (and some given to them by their Egyptian "neighbors"), yet one thing remained: the blood-stained door frames. Who was this for? The Egyptians - to remember the God of Israel by. Not only did the Egyptians have to deal with the loss of their first-born sons, but they had a visual reminder as well.

What happened to those houses of the Israelites? Nothing is mentioned. But imagine being the new owner.

© Emittravel 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #51

The major problem facing the Republican Party is integrity. They talk a good talk, but don't follow through in office. We didn't get to $16 trillion by just the Democrats holding the checkbook. I was going to mail a pen to President Bush (GW), but I kept hoping he would find his veto pen. Took way too long for that.

The other difficulty is their message of limited government and spending cuts doesn't sell. But that is politics. You don't get elected threatening to take away all of the goodies that were given out to get elected.

Some say the problem is that Republicans are too right wing. Some say they are not right-wing enough. And still others say the secret sauce is to move to the center. I think the Republican party has the center in their sights and have steadily been moving that direction. From George Bush's "compassionate conservatism" (a.k.a. "liberalism"), to John McCain's not knowing on which side of the "aisle" he belongs, to Mitt Romney's flip flopping so much he's worn himself out evenly on both sides, the Republican party has been moving closer to the center with hopes of capturing more voters. Keep in mind, for the Republican party to move to the center means they have to move to the LEFT.

Republicans don't need a new message; they need to follow through on the one they've touted for years.

© Emittravel 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #50

On the drive to work, listening to podcasts and worship music (the practice songs for this coming Sunday), I found that I was angry and bitter about the news this morning. I had rants going on, some in my head, some verbal, concerning the end of the Republican "ideal" - that being limited government, less spending, and a strong standing in the world - amongst other things.

And then the Holy Spirit gently, as He always does, spoke to me. I turned off the audio system and prayed. The reason I felt so angry and bitter concerning this was that, for the majority of the last four years, I have NOT prayed for those in authority over me. The fault for my feelings is not external, it is internal. If I would have been praying more, and bitching less, I would have faced the outcome - no matter what it was - with peace.

Should I have been concerned during the last four years? Yes. Should I have voiced my opinion? In both conversations and my blog. Should I have strived for what I thought was right? Absolutely. But I should have ALSO prayed.

So, "Lord, I pray for those in authority over me - at the city, state, and national levels. Give them wisdom. Give them an ear to listen to Your voice. Give them a heart willing to be led by Righteousness. Protect them and their families. And Lord, give them Your peace."

© Emittravel 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

. . . Or Press "3" for Annoying

This is sort of a sequel to the blog topic 'Press "2" for Polish' that I wrote about a year ago. The reason for it? Today, November 6, 2012, is election day here in the United States. Not only do we get to chose our next President (okay, THAT is another topic in itself - "Why You Don't Chose The President"), but we also get to vote for various elected officials, tax levies, etc. And that means voter ballots.

For me, the ballot was three long, double-sided pages. I got to read the item presented and then fill in the appropriate oval with a black pen, designating my choice/decision. The ballot was then fed into a double-sided scanner. And you know what? The ballot could have been half the size. Why? Because half of the ballot was in Spanish. Again, as I said in 'Press "2" for Polish', we are a largely Eastern European family here in my neighborhood. Though there are individuals where Spanish is the language of their roots, it doesn't seem to be prominent here.

Now, what follows may really annoy some of you. But as I state in my blog bio, get thicker skin. My intention is not to offend, but offences do come.

Up until several years ago, if you came to live in this country, and wanted to make something of yourself, you would learn the English language. For well over two hundred years, this has been the norm. People from all over the world, and backgrounds and cultures completely foreign to each other, came here, learned the English language, and made something of themselves. I admit, sometimes it was the second generation immigrant who really mastered the language, but not exclusively. When I was in the Navy, I would meet people in other countries who were so proud of their ability to speak English. And they WEREN'T living HERE!

So what happened? Why the shift to everything being in both English and Spanish? Sure, there are theories out there that sound "reasonable", but you know what? I'm thinking that the reason for the push for Spanish is that there is a belief by various individuals and groups in this country that Spanish-speaking people are too stupid to learn English, and therefore must have everything in their language. Understand, I don't personally think that is true. I'm thinking that learning English is easier today than ever - just look at all of the technological advances in education formats. But I can't help but believe that this MUST be a (viable) reason for the dual-language phenomenon over the last several years. And if I were you, I'd be VERY annoyed and insulted by that.

Of course, there IS the whole voter block thing . . . but that is for another blog topic . . .

© Emittravel 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit #2

It's J.P., with more "Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit".

(NOTE: Usually items in this series come from things I've read. This one came while watching a movie. I was so struck by the line that I had to pause the movie, run it back, and play it again. Yeah, I love DVDs for that. I hope it impacts you the same.)

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else." - Lester Bangs ("Almost Famous")

That's it folks: be real. To each other. In what we say to each other. In all of those . . . moments. There is nothing else worth giving. Nothing else has value.

Thank you, Cameron Crowe. Good reminder. 

© Emittravel 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stuff My Brain Says #49

People in the insurance industry have things called "Acts of God". That is when hurricanes hit, tornadoes hit, and the like, and are deemed acts of God. Well, where does "man-made global warming" come in? If man-made global warming has such an impact on our environment, that it causes floods and storms, should we no longer call those acts "acts of God", but "acts of man"? And if they are acts of man, should they be held accountable for all of the accidents that take place? Katrina. Should Katrina be considered the will of God, or the will of man because of pollution? What about Sandy?

Now, I don't believe in man-made global warming, but God is still sovereign - God is still God - God is in control. How many things take place because things are "in motion" and they take place?

© Emittravel 2012