My sister had a baby last week and so our family has been focused on a new little newborn.  This has led me to ponder what the future will be like for this little child.

One story that hit the news last week was the high school graduation ceremony where the valedictorian read the Lord’s Prayer for his speech since the school district had chosen to not allow prayers at school functions.

I was thinking about this young man and the stand that he took, that he had to take given the decision made by the school district to remove religion from the ceremony.  He rose to the occasion and made a statement about who he is.  Had he not done that and had he just read a typical graduation speech, no one would have thought anything less of him.  In fact, he would still have been applauded as the valedictorian of his school.  However, he did something more.  He stood up for who he is knowing there may be consequences.  The school officials may have had the microphone turned off for all he knew.  People may have denounced his action.  But, he took a stand anyway because he knew it needed to be done.

When it comes to religious liberty, the days are past where religion was generally accepted as the basis of society.  Religion is being systematically removed from our institutions and government.  This is far beyond anything the Framers intended, but this is where we are.  So, it becomes even more important for individuals to actually practice their liberties to keep religion in the public sphere.

This is a huge task for a generation that is growing up not hearing prayers in public.  Children are living in a world where religion is a secretive event allowed only to be practiced at home and in churches.  They are not learning about religion in schools, even to the point of having “Winter” parties instead of Christmas parties. Their “normal” will not equate to public displays of religion, and yet that is the task that is falling on them if we are to have any hope for a future where religion is once again a vibrant part of society.

Then there is the breakdown of the family.  My nephew will grow up in a family where religion is practiced and revered.  But he will find himself more and more in the minority.  Families are falling apart and religious devotion is slipping.  It isn’t a secret that these are related principles.  Strong families make us better people and tend to be more religiously active as a recent Heritage blog post pointed out.

I recognize this is a somewhat negative outlook of both the current and the future, but I am not even 40 yet and I can see a palpable difference in the way society treats religion.

May the next generation be strong enough to rise to the occasion and stand for truth.  May my new little nephew learn this and be willing to be criticized if needed for boldly declaring what he knows.

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that everyone was talking about Tim Tebow finished as an NFL quarterback.

Time for them to cry:

The New England Patriots will sign Tim Tebow, league sources told ESPN.

The Patriots are signing Tebow, who is expected to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday, as a quarterback, according to sources.

Why sign Tebow?

The move reunites Tebow with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the Broncos‘ head coach when Denver traded into the first round to draft the Heisman Trophy winner in 2010.

Many sportswriters have said Tim Tebow is no NFL quarterback. I submit if you want to develop into one being in practice every day with one of the best coaches in the league and one of the finest quarterbacks in the history of the game certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Mike Reiss:

Sometimes Bill Belichick sees something in a player — both on and off the field — that makes him want to have him around the team. In Flutie’s case, there was great respect for his competitiveness and history in the game, and how he’d fit in the quarterbacks room with Tom Brady and rookie Matt Cassel.

In Tebow’s case, he’ll join a quarterback room with Brady and third-year player Ryan Mallett. Similar to how he viewed Flutie, Belichick has great respect for Tebow’s approach to the game and his team-first approach, and it makes sense to think he’d view that as a positive addition to the locker room. Just as Flutie was the No. 3 quarterback in 2005, Tebow is currently in line to compete for the same type of role after the club released No. 3 man Mike Kafka on Monday (note: the Patriots kept just 2 QBs on the 53-man roster last year, so Tebow is no roster lock).

The difference, of course, is that Tebow potentially brings a media circus that Flutie never did.

I don’t think the circus. In both Denver and NY there was a question of who might start at QB. There s absolutely no chance of there being such a thing without a serious injury to Tom Brady. Combine that with a person of Tebow’s character there is no danger of this getting anywhere near out of control.

Bottom line Tebow is a winner and he’s joining a winning team with a winning tradition and a system that rewards players who celebrate team first. That’s Tebow all over, he’ll thrive here.

Granted the Tebow haters will laugh at him being on the bench but I doubt that Belichick if he can find a use for Tebow will certainly do so.

I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.

Robert E Lee

Conan:  A man should have brave enemies so he can remember them after he slays them

King Conan #7  Sept 1981

When it comes to Edward Snowden there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there and mixed feelings The best example I can think of was expressed by my friend Tabitha Hale:

Because in our current society we tend to look at feelings and personalize things, this is the question that has become front and center, so lets look at the four  basic choices on how people feel about Snowden.

1.   Edward Snowden is a dishonorable traitor  who exposed the NSA programs because he wishes to hurt America and aid our enemies and/or his friends or be rewarded.  (He is Julius Rosenburg)

2.   Edward Snowden is a dishonorable fanatic who exposed the NSA programs because he believes it is a danger to the freedoms of the United States and it’s people and must be stopped no matter what happens to him. ( He is Scott Roeder)

3.   Edward Snowden is a Noble character who exposed the NSA programs because he believes it is a danger to the freedoms of the United States no matter what the risk to him.   (He is Brutus)

4.   Edward Snowden is a Noble character who exposed the NSA programs because he wishes to hurt America and aid our enemies and/or his friends or be rewarded.  (He is Rommel )

Since we don’t know what he actually thinks and do not have enough evidence to support any of those opinions yet the choice you make will likely depend on where you stand.

If you priority is the war on terror or one of the authorities, you likely are going with #1.  Very clear cut  he’s a dirty traitor trying to bring us down.  He can be rejected and hated.  Pretty easy.

If you are a person who mistrusts government power, a conservative, you likely are going to go with #2.  You many not like these programs and believe they are an abuse of federal power or even immoral, but this is still treason.  The ends do not and can not justify the means!  The rule of law has to trump this and Snowden needs to be punished severely to discourage this type of thing in the future.

If you are a pure libertarian, you almost certainly go with #3.  He is a brave character who gave up his life livelihood and his whole world in order to protect us from a nefarious government.  It would have been every easy to say or do nothing but instead he stepped forward no matter the risk.  To you this guy is a hero.

I suspect  Obama political loyalists will choose #4.  You respect his as a brave guy.  If he had done this under George Bush you would call him friend or hero and cheering with the libertarians.  But this guy’s actions have real potential to damage THE ONE™.  and to his administrations political future.  He’s just another enemy that needs defeating or problem to be solved.

I almost certainly fall between 1 and 2.  My gut says the program is wrong, I need to know more about it before I’m positive but no matter how he feels about the program and believes he has done a noble thing, I’m just not going to justify or excuse this kind of illegality or treason

Before you pick a number consider the basic facts in evidence that are not in dispute:

Edward Snowden violated federal law and his oath.

Edward Snowden leaked a highly classified security program

Edward Snowden fled to a Communist Country our single biggest rival/enemy

No matter what you think of the NSA Prism programs, Mr. Snowden’s motivations or even the necessity of the exposure of this scandal, these facts are not in dispute and I suggest people be very careful before declaring him Horatius at the Bridge.

Update:  Jackie Wellfounder gives good advice

I think at this point, we need to remain objective and wait for the facts to present themselves. I have a feeling this story has a lot more evolving to do yet.

And Legal Insurrection and another name to the story

The interview with Bill Binney is interesting because it does, in fact, parallel much of what is revealed in the interview with Edward Snowden.  Both interviews were directed and produced by Laura Poitras.

Pay attention to the last sentence in his piece

Interestingly, one of the last frames in Laura Poitras’ video interview with Bill Binney thanks, among others, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

Hmmmm.

Update 2:  Removed the word “you” from the last sentence, sounded AWFUL.

Update 3:  I have to disagree with Captain Ed here:

Snowden’s $500 ended up doing nothing in the long run.  He would have done us all a favor — including himself — if he’d used the money for subscriptions to the Guardian and Washington Post and sent the leak to Paul, Udall, and/or Wyden.

By supporting the candidate most likely to stop these abuses he was doing things the right way, trying to support candidates who would stop this program without acting dishonorably.  The question becomes, if he had leaked this to Paul or Udall or Wyden, would they have exposed it or no?

Meanwhile, while Stacy McCain’s headline is Hero or Traitor, his story on Snowden at Viral Read is Just the facts:

 

 

 

James Taylor: This is the works! Either we’re out of business or bigger than ever before.

Mr Smith Goes to Washington 1939

I’ve talked a bit in the past of the cultural divide between the right and the left for a long time and as I look at the IRS scandal never has this conflict been more apparent.

Day by day the information is slowly leaking out via testimony,  statement and basic reporting.

On twitter we are repeatedly seeing the non-professional left declaring their approval of the tactics used by IRS against the Tea Party, anti-abortion groups, pro-marriage groups etc etc etc. The Professional left varies from the tepid (it’s wrong BUT) to the Joan Walshs of the world (scandal? what scandal).

Some on the right might not understand why the administration and their allies don’t just come totally clean, get this behind the and take the short terms hit, what they don’t understand is they are playing for much bigger stakes.  They are playing to cement the power in a more permanent way.

Just imagine big Government being able to actively stop those who would combat it with little fear.

It’s the kind of thing that can, in their minds, change the balance of power in the country permanently . If the political right can be restrained by governmental forces and their contributes intimidated the possibilities of the left are endless.

But DatechGuy“, you say, “What about the rule of lawWon’t people get punished?

HA!  If there are no consequences short of a few low level employees fired and maybe a mid level bureaucrat taking the fall, perhaps serving a year or two in a minimum security jail then quietly re-hired by a leftist think tank then there is absolutely no reason for this practice to be repeated again and again by a government of the left until not only Tea Party groups, but talk radio, the NRA, pro-life groups and the lot are too busy looking over their shoulder to mount any effective opposition.

These are the stakes the left sees if they win, and that’s why they are fighting so hard to slow down and stop this scandal before the administration proper can be tagged by it. If they get away with this, if they can effectively disenfranchise the right, in their minds be the start of another golden age much like their 40 year rule in congress from the fifties until 1994.

If they do succeed I see a much different result…

Update 2:  Part 2 is now up here

Update:  Delayed Instalanche and fixed a grammar point or two.  One more thought a day latter.

I noted today (Tuesday) that the information that is now top of the news from Mr. Snowden had been reported on in Aug 2012,  It didn’t raise a peep.

Don’t get me wrong, the Snowden story is big and given the IRS scandal PRISM needs to be considered in a whole new light but the difference in coverage is… interesting.

Could it be perhaps that the media is pushing this story now because the subject needs to be changed for the sake of Obama?

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday the first day of the work week and time for my first pitch to you dear reader to achieve the elusive $305 paycheck and a full mortgage payment this month.

We got a good jump yesterday but as last week was short I’d like to keep up the momentum we built on Sunday.

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