Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Election Reflections

Like many other folks, I was up late last night watching the results come in. While I am disappointed in the outcome I am still proud to live in a country that allows its citizens to freely choose its own leaders. We should never take that freedom for granted. I'm working on a much longer essay on my thoughts and observations on the election and what it means as we move forward. For now, I'll recommend two excellent articles I saw posted today from Albert Mohler and Joel Rosenberg. I was talking with a friend last night who suggested that perhaps God is chastising his people here in America the same way he did the nation of Israel when they were disobedient in the Old Testament. Perhaps that is true. I do know for certain that God ordains who He wants to lead us and therefore He must have a purpose that will be served with President Obama's re-election. Finally, I couldn't help but think of this speech from the late Chuck Colson. He summed it up much better than I ever could:
"Where is the hope? I meet millions of people that tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things we do as a nation.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Another Victim of Obama's Economy

We hear a lot about the effect of the economy on small business but this video says it better than any other I have seen. Bill's Barbecue was an institution in Richmond, VA for 82 years but it couldn't survive four years of Obama's economic policies.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Some Further Thoughts on the Democrats' Platform Problems

Over at the Corner, Hadley Arkes has some further analysis of the Democrats' platform fiasco from their just concluded convention and comes up with this nugget:
For it’s not a matter of one word more or less, one or more mentions of God. The real heart of the issue is that most of the people in that hall, in the Democratic convention, really don’t accept the understanding of rights contained in the Declaration of Independence: The Declaration appealed first to “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” as the very ground of our natural rights. The drafters declared that “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal,” and then immediately: that “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” George Bush was not embarrassed to insist that these are “God-given rights,” as opposed to rights that we had merely given to ourselves. For if we had given them to ourselves, we could as readily take them back or remove them. 
This is the real crux of the matter. Denying the existence of God (or at least failing to acknowledge His existence) makes it much easier to also deny that any of our rights are also given by God. The Democrats, at their core, don't' honestly believe what the Declaration of Independence says. Once you've disavowed the Declaration it's not hard to disavow the Constitution as the two documents are closely linked to one another.
On every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. When all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation.
The President is exactly right. The choice that voters face is clear. Two differing worldviews are on clear display to choose from. One party believes that our rights are God-given and therefore cannot be infringed upon by government. The other believes that government has the power to grant (and to take away) rights as it pleases. Which choice would you make?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Can a Person of Faith Be a Democrat?

Given the events of the past 24 hours at the Democratic National Convention, this suddenly becomes a fair question. Yesterday, delegates went ballistic when party officials tried to reinsert previously omitted language about God and Israel into their platform. Needless to say this created some bad optics for the Democrats as well as creating news at their convention. This was such a grave unforced error it's not clear yet how much damage has been done.

But taking this in conjunction with the party's full fledged endorsement of abortion on demand (“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”) as well as the ongoing controversy over the HHS mandate regarding conception and suddenly you get the feeling that there is outright animus towards people of faith.

This is not necessarily new but never has it been more obvious. As John Hinderaker points outs, "The Democrats, bluntly put, have become the party of those who don't go to church." Although I would disagree with him over whether religious beliefs informs ones view of the issues of the day (it does) he is absolutely correct to suggest that the Democratic platform is in direct opposition to the values that Jews, Christians, and Catholics in particular hold. 

This point is further illustrated in Al Mohler's excellent essay on the stark worldview choices we are facing in this election.

All of this begs the question whether a devout Jew, Christian or Catholic can sincerely also identify themselves as a Democrat. I frankly can't see how anyone can.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Favorite Eats - Three Li'l Pigs Barbeque - Daleville, Virginia

Having grown up in North Carolina one of the things that I developed an affinity for is barbecue. When North Carolinians refer to barbecue they mean pork. Depending on which part of the state you are in the meat is served either with a tomato based sauce (western) or a vinegar based sauce (eastern). Personally I prefer the eastern variety because it tends to maintain the smoky flavor of the meat without being totally overwhelmed by the sauce.

Consequently, I am a bit of a barbecue snob. Invariably when I order barbecue in a restaurant it doesn't have the same flavor I'm accustomed to getting from my barbecue. Thankfully there is one place I know I can go for great barbecue and it's not even in North Carolina!

Three Li'l Pigs Barbecue is just off Interstate 81 in Daleville Virginia. It's close enough to the highway that anytime I am passing by it's easy to turn off for a quick fix of barbecue. Owner Bill Gaul hails from North Carolina which explains why he's so adept at making barbecue. Plus the menu offers both varieties to suit everyone's taste. Plus while you're waiting for your food you can pass the time playing Pass the Pigs.

They also sell their barbecue in bulk packaging to go (be sure to bring a cooler so you can take some home with you) as well as their full line of barbecue sauces.

I've tried a lot of barbecue from a lot of different restaurants but the best by far is at Three Li'l Pigs. If you're ever driving by take the time to get off the interstate long enough to sample the best barbecue anywhere.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some Tasty Sandwiches

Over at Stately Sandwiches, proprietor Kelly Pratt has come up with the idea of creating a sandwich for each of the 50 states. So far she's come up with several and quite a few of her choices are spot on. Take for example the Hot Brown for Kentucky. This is a huge favorite in Louisville as I discovered earlier this spring. Or something simpler like a Virginia Ham Biscuit. Or my personal favorite, the pulled pork barbecue for North Carolina. I have a feeling that this is going to be a fun (and delicious) site to follow.

Thanks to Paula for the tip.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to Blogging

It's been a long time since I've posted her regularly. Hopefully I will be able to get back on track. A few random thoughts that have been rolling around my brain......


This election cycle is shaping up to be the second straight presidential election in a row where I am seriously considering not voting. Much will depend on who Mitt Romney chooses as a running mate. John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin made me feel comfortable enough to cast a vote for him even though I still had serious reservations about him.


Speaking of politics, it seems to me that politicians are more and more concerned with maintaining power than abiding by principles. This has always been true to a degree but seems to be more prevalent these days than ever before. Part of the reason I don't follow politics as closely as I used to as I find myself increasingly frustrated by members of both parties. The country seems poised for a major reformation in its politics but only if principled leaders will stand up and be counted upon to be agents of change.


Most of my free time of late (what little there has been) has been devoted to baseball. Although my team, the Chicago Cubs, are having a typically frustrating season I still enjoy the sport. In fact, I became a fan of the game before I became devoted to my team. More on that in an upcoming post over at Eephus League. That's where I have been doing what little blogging that I have been involved in lately.


Not long ago I ran across an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that Wrigley Field be torn down. The author is, of course, wrong for a lot of reasons. One of his assertions is that the Cubs were a better team before moving to Wrigley than afterwards. That's true, however, he failed to look at the club's won-loss record at Wrigley. Through the 2011 season, the Cubs had a +435 win differential at the park. So clearly it's not the home park that's the problem.


From the Useful Links Department: the Random P. G. Wodehouse Quote Generator.


It was a really big deal at the time: it turns out Dan Quayle was right. And you read about it in the Washington Post of all places. Dan Quayle might not have been the brightest or most effective politician but at least he was willing to stand up and speak about what he believed.


Quote to ponder: "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived." - George S. Patton


Finally, I have held out as long as I possibly can but have given in and decided to join Twitter. I don't really plan on tweeting much (we'll see how that goes) but I've already found it's a great way to quickly check news sources that I like to follow. Feel free to follow me (for what it's worth).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Charles Colson, RIP

From Fox News:
Watergate figure Charles Colson, who turned to religion, died Saturday at a Northern Virginia hospital after a brief illness, according to a family spokesman. He was 80.
"This is a time of conflicting, colliding emotions for all of us," said Jim Liske, the chief executive of the Lansdowne, Va.-based Prison Fellowship Ministries that Colson founded. "We grieve that our brother, our founder, our inspiration is no longer with us. But we rejoice that Chuck is with Jesus, we rejoice as we reflect on his life and legacy and that we could be a part of that, and we rejoice when we think of all the redeemed in heaven who will greet him and thank him for the role he played in their salvation."
Colson was the author of numerous books his most famous being his autobiography Born Again which tells his compelling story of coming to faith in Christ prior to going to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal.

He was also a compelling speaker and boldly proclaimed Christ at every opportunity. My wife and I had the privilege of being in the audience at his acceptance of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion at the Universty of Chicago in 1993. In the midst of a highly ecumenical service with representatives of every major religion, Colson bravely and unashamedly proclaimed the gospel. Many who disagreed with him walked out during the speech. However, reading the text nearly twenty years later still gives me chills.

Chuck Colson made a tremendous impact on many believers all over the world. His story is a true story of redemption and the power of Christ to change lives.

Rest in peace, brother.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

America's Game

"Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time's constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime."
-- Ken Burns

Few things are as truly American as baseball. More than any other sport it has permeated our culture. It is intertwined with our history. It celebrates what's great about our country. Countless books and articles have been written about the beauty of our game. But it's not often that we get to hear the perspective of immigrants who have come to this county about our national game.

Take for example, this excellent essay by Irish author Colum McCann. He came to America a number of years ago and immediately fell in love with the game. A brief excerpt:
Baseball is often talked about as the American game, but there is something wildly immigrant about it too. No other game can so solidly confirm the fact that you are in the United States, yet bring you home to your original country at the same time.
If soccer is the world's game, then baseball belongs to those who have left their worlds behind. This is not so much nostalgia as it a sense of saudade - a longing for something that is absent.
I have been in New York for 18 years. Every time I have gone to Yankee Stadium with my two sons and my daughter, I am somehow brought back to my boyhood. Perhaps it is because baseball is so very different from anything I grew up with.
The subway journey out. The hustlers, the bustlers, the bored cops. The jostle at the turnstiles. Up the ramps. Through the shadows. The huge swell of diamond green. The crackle. The billboards. The slight air of the unreal. The guilt when standing for another nation's national anthem. The hot dogs. The bad beer. The catcalls. Siddown. Shaddup. Fuhgeddaboudit.
Learning baseball is learning to love what is left behind also. The world drifts away for a few hours. We can rediscover what it means to be lost. The world is full, once again, of surprise. We go back to who we were.
Be sure to read the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Application to Date My Daughter

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I just had to share it because it is absolutely hilarious:

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Catholic Church Fights Back

President Obama may have picked the wrong fight when his administration announced they were forcing the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives including the morning after pill to their employees. In his unforced error, the President may have awakened the sleeping giant of the Catholic Church and set the wheels in motion for a permanent political shift. From the Daily Mail:

Prominent Catholic leaders across the U.S. have threatened to turn voters against President Obama over his controversial plans to offer free birth control.
The fight is over a provision of the health reform law announced on January 20 that would require health insurance plans -- including those offered by institutions such as Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities -- to offer free birth control including sterilization.
According to estimates, there are some 70 million Catholic voters – and many could be posed to vote against the president in the crucial upcoming election.
Catholic League head Bill Donohue said: ‘Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,’ CBS New York reported.
'This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets.' Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was promoted to the status of a Cardinal just weeks ago, spoke out about the issue. 
'It’s not about contraception. It’s about the right of conscience,' he told reporters. 'The government doesn’t have the right to butt into the internal governance and teachings of the church,” he said.
'This is not a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue. We’re strong on this issue of conscience, and that’s what’s at stake here.'
Catholic clergy on Sunday called on the faithful to write Congress to protest new birth control rules from President Barack Obama's administration, stepping up a campaign that began a week ago with denunciations from the pulpit at Masses across the country.

Catholics are traditionally staunchly pro-life despite their tendency to vote for Democrats. But over the past couple of election cycles, Catholics have slowly begun to wake up to the fact that many prominent Democrats who also profess to be Catholics (think John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi) don't hold the same values as those that the church endorses. 

The Catholic Church is rising to the challenge because they realize this controversy is not just about abortion. It's also about religious liberty. And they are finally realizing that Democrats that they have worked to elect over the past several decades are not their allies. It's about time.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Obama Declares War Against Religious Freedom

The Obama Administration has struck a blow against religious freedom and it's time for folks to stand up against such tyranny. Click here to read the whole story.