Eyes to See/Ears to Hear

In order to combat my annoyance over the unwillingness of media outlets to tell the truth and avoid letting their bias rule, as well as to have an outlet for my very (at times) wordy self, this blog has been created by yours truly. This will be an accounting of events in the world, my country, and my little piece of the world as best as I can see it, hear it, and relay it.

Location: United States

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Persecuted Church

I don't understand the lack of coverage that is given to the atrocities that occur all over the world to those of the Christian faith. Can it be that our so called 'tolerant' and 'compassionate' society is stone cold without feelings when it comes to those persecuted for their beliefs?

The Chinese people have always fascinated me. I think that God has made some incredibly beautiful women in those of Asian decent. 8-)

In China today, the 'unregistered' church, is the, quote: "largest active church movement in the world and comprises 80 percent of China's Christians" unquote.

We talk about tolerance in our American society today, but all it seems to be is a clever cover for the advancement of just about any immoral and extreme behavior that people filled with 'hate' and 'intolerance' are looking to advance.

Chinese women, of any faith, suffer at the hands of their government, assisted by our government funds and organizations (i.e. Population Fund), with forced abortions. All Christians risk imprisonment, torture, and death for simply wanting to worship God in their own way. Funny that we Americans don't seem to care; or at least our media blares headlines of torture of Iraqi prisoners but has no room for the torture and death of Chinese Christians.

Years ago when I first became a Christian, I remember sharing my faith with someone and inviting them to church. Their reply was to state, without even meeting anyone in the church-talk about pre-judging-that the church was full of hypocrites. I suppose it never occurred to them that they themselves could be guilty of hypocrisy, they are so busy judging everyone else that doesn't conform to what their views are. Funny too, that these are the very things that others criticize Christians for doing!

Talk about having eyes to see and ears to hear! 8-)


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Add-On To Last Post...

I wanted to include something in that post regarding the lives lost in the war in VietNam and the lives lost after we came home; the slaughter of the Cambodians: the sacrifice of our boys and men, as I said, thousands, and the lives of the Cambodians, as I said, millions: to me, that is the part that messes with my mind. If the Congress would have allowed the military to fight a war as they are trained to do as opposed to running a war based on politics and who influences who and who is answering to who else, politically speaking, that is, the war would have been won and in the end, lives saved, as crazy as that sounds. But it is sound thinking when you are thinking in terms of war, unfortunately. You don't treat the lives lost lightly, but with grave and great honor, but you certainly don't keep sending thousands and thousands of young men into an unknown jungle to be slaughtered when you have other means to win a war. That is how wars go.

We will end up with no allies, and the terrorists of our generation hope for that; they love an administration such as the Clinton Administration, in which his libido was of more concern than the running of this country. Indeed, he took terrorism so lightly that Arafat was the most frequent visitor to the White House during his administration! It boggles the mind, it really does. But, that is not what I wanted to get into. The terrorists, however, hate the Bush Administration, and it saddens me that many Americans do too; forgetting the attacks on the USA, via the Cole, the Embassy's in Africa(?), and the bombing in Beruit. There was no retaliation. It was almost like it was a joke. But I daresay the military is aware of the awful and severe threat that terrorists are to our nation and our way of life. We love our way of life, but we don't want to defend it when it is attacked?

War, Politics, No Point To This Post, Really

I have been thinking of late, being a child of the early 70's, catching ahold of the anti-government, make love not war, train, that things aren't always what they appear to be. While watching movies like Platoon, We Were Soldiers, and even movies like Braveheart, that there can never be anything attractive about war, at least not to someone like me, who looks at it more in terms of wasted human life more than anything. The reason for that, of course, lies in the age of most of those who have died in wars: sons and young fathers. Who, sanely speaking of course, can look at that part and cheer war, ever? I know I cannot. But I know something else too, and that is that the men who have died in the wars that my country have fought did not and do not, die in vain. Can I explain why I believe that? Maybe not coherently to someone who is adamantly anti-war, and even, God help us, anti-USA. Far too many people of my generation, and the subsequent one, have jumped on that band wagon and have not gotten off. A few truths I do know, at least regarding the VietNam War, and those are:

After we pulled out, losing literally thousands of lives, over three million of the Cambodian people, who were our allies, were systematically slaughtered! Those were the people that our youth and young father's fought and died for. Their's desperation to live free as we do here in the USA was the reason why we signed onto that war. Why do people persist in thinking that somehow it was all about the USA's government's supposed warmongering? Is that the excuse for not wanting to support our allies and those who want what we have? For shame that the pressure put on the military by my government lost that war. We were than, as we are now, the mightiest nation on the face of the planet! And I don't say that to brag, but to point out that it was ridiculous for us to lose that battle! Or, all those men. They were, in my opinion, sacrificed on the altar of politics, and not only by the Congress, but by every man and woman who put pressure on them to put pressure on the military. Think about this: we are allies with the country of Taiwan, a people who fiercely cling to their independence, and in some measure, to the USA, their ally. What if China moves to 'take' Taiwan? What do we do? Cut them loose? We will if we listen to the voices of anti-war, anti-USA? There is no way that I am a war supporter, what I am, however, is a supporter of the necessity of war to protect freedom.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Tragic Truth

Herein is a copy of an article written by a reporter who is obviously not held within the restraints of political correctness. Thank God!

An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State

by Robert Tracinski
Sep 02, 2005

It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists--myself included--did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over the past four days. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency--indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:

"Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

"The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire....

"Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

" 'These troops are...under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.' "

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to drive away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Super Dome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicgo, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"--the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels--gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails--so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. They don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

The welfare state--and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages--is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

The Bad News About The Character Of Some People

I won't point the finger of blame, which the media has continually fixed firmly on President Bush. Nor wil I vent my horror, my anger, or my frustration at how it is difficult to get to the bottom of the various reports riding along the information highway. What I will do is pay tribute to those who were trapped in the city of New Orleans, people who became the innocents sacrificed to the lions in the modern day coliseum that the city became when it was pretty much abandoned.

All for one and one for all, no, wait, that is: every man for himeslf. It didn't have to be that way, yet for many unable to get out, it was. But not by choice, but rather by the inescapable hand that fate dealt them via decisions made without their knowledge and consent.

Tears flooded past the levees of my eyes, pouring through every breach possible, cried in vain for, and crying along with many who were horrified to find themselves with no resources and at the mercy of the merciless. For many, it was their last day or days on this earth and for others their illusion of, had they once been among those who had this phrase in their vocab.: "people are basically good' was completely shattered as they desperately searched for a place to hide.

If, by any chance our family is called upon to consider taking in a family from this area, I hope and pray that all the hearts of my family be prepared in advance. I have my questions ready to ask the person with whom I will speak, to make sure they are not of the crowd who thinks they are owed something by someone, somehow! I do not feel bad in any way that I will do this, for why should I? It is not about race, it is not about any silly name for things people made up, it is about giving help to those who really want it and need it!

I am my brother's keeper.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kindness and Respect

Seeming to barely avoid spewing spit along with their words that have reviled and blamed President Bush for just about every aspect of the before, during and after of Hurricane Katrina, the hate-filled reporters, authorities, representatives and laypersons have totally forgotten basic character traits such as respect and kindness.

Never mind that the the criticizers and criticisms have no basis in actual fact, but even if they did, the mere tone of those who grab today's headlines should, at the very least, give to others what they demand we all give to those practicing various sexual couplings: i.e. man to man, woman to woman, man to man and man, man who would be woman, woman who would be man, etc. , which is tolerance, in a word, the headline grabbers word.

Trouble is that they have no interest in actual tolerance. By definition the word tolerance has at its very basis of example general kindness as well as respect for another human being. But let me not get into that story, which is a whole other post that would expose the real agenda of the tolerance crowd, but rather I will stick to the lack of respect that these persons have for President Bush and anyone who is part of his Administration or supports him or his Administration.

The tone of the various editiorials, letters to the editor and news reports is quite ugly. As I mentioned earlier in this post, the only thing that it is lacking is actual spitting while talking about the various aspects of the President's involvement or perceived lack of, in the crises. Nasty attitude people such as Michael Moore don't care that the environmental activists interfered via the courts in preventing measures to be taken by the Army Corps of Engineers decades ago to shore up Lake Pontchartrain against a day such as this one. Even with the facts in front of him, he nor the mayor of New Orleans would admit the truth. Why? Because it would prevent them from spewing their hate at their number one prime hate targe: President Bush.

Shame on these people though: the media, both ink stained and microphoned, authorities as well as politicians, for using the hurting and violated to pursue their hate agenda. This sort of calamaty was neither the time or place for such an attack, but was the time for common courtesy and respect; respect for the President and his Administration and for those terribly afflicted due to this devastating hurricane.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Honoring Our Mothers And Our Fathers

In my son's Life Management class there is excellent information given on how exactly we are supposed to honor our parents. The trouble is that we as children, teenagers mostly, sit in judgment on our parents, dis their advice and trash their experience as of no consequence to what we are dealing with or facing. This in turn heaps troubles on our own heads, though we would probably be loathe to admit it or face it.

There are one or two web journals that I read written by teenagers, one who is fourteen and the other who is sixteen, both females. I read them ever other week or so because they are so dang depressing and so judgmental of their parents that it is hard to take on a regular basis. Yet, out of the other side of their mouths they stand tall and strong on how various adults, groups and individuals are against homosexuality instead of tolerant, like themselves! It is sheer hypocrisy to make way for understanding, acceptance and indeed tolerance of homosexuality, yet have not a shred of tolerance for your own parents. Their parents get cursed out, mocked and ridiculed, mainly, it seems from reading the stuff they write, for not living up to whatever the expectations are of them, expectations set by these young people. (though neither of these young people clarify what and where the parents failed them exactly). I am sure if these two young people were to apply some of the rhetoric they use for homosexuality they might put themselves in the parent's place for just a moment and gain a hair of insight into their intolerance and hostility to their own parent(s).

As a parent and a former teen I have the advantage over these young people, a fact that many young people outright reject (how intolerant of them), though it is known and accepted that this is the truth.

The thing is that our parents are not perfect and they take on this responsibility of caring another human life, and a helpless one at that, with no instruction book whatsoever. Mainly what they get is told many things by many people on how to do many things so that their head is spinnning and they can hardly think.

True too are that some parents yell, scream, and beat their children, or ignore, neglect or rarely show them any affection. Then there are parents who try to be hip and their children's friend, or others that make decisions on what to do with their children with the goal of having their children 'like' them. Others try to be balanced in all they do as a parent, try to be affectionate, spend time playing with their child and cuddling, and others go a little overboard and attend every mommy and me event, sign up their children for the elite preschool, get their child the 'best' friends and live vicariously through their child. Some abandon their children, some treat their children as property, while others treat their children as lives entrusted to them to care for, to watch over and to guide on the right way to go in life.

In all those words I used, what I am saying is that there are all kinds of parents, none of which are perfect. Even the most balanced and caring, loving parent can and will make mistakes. It happens to everyone. Why then are these teens, a small sampling of youth with this prevalent attitude among their age group, so harsh and intolerant of these people, their parents? I do have some ideas on that but I want to head in another direction, that direction being myself on both ends of that spectrum, having resented my mother and father as a teen as well as been a parent whom a teen has resented. Keep in mind that I am writing as I am thinking on this, so paragraph cohesion is not a priorty.

The young ladies flame at their parents giving them no room for error whatsoever and clearly it seems like the parents are in a lose lose. If they only knew what their children write about them I do believe their hearts would break. While they pay bills and mortgages and rents and hold jobs to pay all this, buy computers, pay tuitions, go on vacations, buy food, buy food, buy food, food that they clearly don't eat all by themselves, electricity that they don't use up all by themselves, etc. Yet the parents get no respect, no room for error, and are barely tolerated, and when tolerated it's because of food, computers, vacations, etc.

In the next breath these young people make allowance and room for any and all persons given to various odd sexual behavior, allowing wide margins for acceptance with no errors and a clear win win for these highly sexualized human beings in the opinion of these young people.

Now I don't write this as judgment, because as I pointed out, I was a teen like that and did wrong by my mom and my dad. As time goes on I fully intend on opening up more of some of that stuff, but I want to get on with this a bit more before I have to stop and go make dinner. 8-)

Many of the mistakes that I, as a parent, made had to do with where my focus was and that was usually on my self. I wonder how many teens are comfortable with having that in common with parents like me? After all, many of today's teens, with the encouragement and full blessing of many adults (thankee Planned Parenthood and the like), are focused entirely on 'me' 'me' 'me'. Some youth may want to rationalize it away by saying that parent's should be focused on their child, teens are supposed to be focused on self, etc., but that is not true. Do you think that one day when that youth becomes a parent that they suddenly snap out of self serving living into selfless giving? I don't think so. Any honest with themselves person would have to agree. So what happens when we as selfish teens snap judge our parents for doing wrong by us via their selfish decisions that affect us is bring that judgment right down on our own heads, while we continue to blame our parents all along the way! In order to live a selfless and giving life you must have put that living style into practice or it will not happen.

All this is wrapped up in the 'honoring our parents' message, you see, because if we honored our parents as we are called to do, and tolerated them even a tiny iota as much as we tolerate people we don't even know and who have never sacrificed a single thing on our behalf, then we wouldn't have such disdain for our parents as these two young people seem to have. Selah.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Blame Game

I am frustrated. Frustrated by the spreading of blame on those who are not to blame for the tragedy in New Orleans. Here is why.

First off, New Orleans, population 500,000, is only one city out of how many in the great state of Louisiana? Does anyone who criticizes know? I don't know, but I know that in my great state of New Jersey there are over twenty-one counties easy, full of large towns and small towns. My city alone is home to over 55,000 people.

Now, being that the entire state was not swamped by Katrina and the storm surge that occurred, can we at least assume that there were any number of government officials in places of authority to do something about preparing for this storm as well as available to aid people in need after the storm?

For days before the storm the weather channel and the news reported constantly on the coming hurricane. They continually presented figures of how high the storm surge could be. When they announced shelters for people they made it clear that you should bring your own food and water, etc.

How all the fallout of the failures to do for the victims became the fault of the President is just beyond my comprehension.

For instance, where was the great state of Louisiana's police, fire, emergency, and other authorities when it came to preparing for the storm, evacuating and coming to their aid afterwards? Was the entire state under water? Immobilized? Where were they? How come, with three days to prepare for, evacuate, care for and have a plan of rescue and such put into effect for those left behind, they didn't? For three days officials could have been filling the superdome with cases of water for the people because we all know that even when we are told to bring this or that, many of us just don't. They also could have been filling the superdome with bags of snacks and other easy to eat food in disposable packages, but they didn't. The reports of the horrific conditions of the superdome were because? They were because too many people do not care about their fellow man. Think about it, in the superdome were those people who cut you off, who cut you in line at the store, who would just as soon trample you rather than wait their turn for aid. People do not suddenly become humanitarian in a disaster, but if they are already inclined to just as soon give you the finger than help you, they are going to be even worse when a crisis hits. This is the President's fault?

I think if we are going to blame people we need to start with ourselves. And that means that the governing body of New Orleans needs to admit that he had no plan either and that the selfish and criminal element took advantage of the crisis by behaving in reprehensible ways.

Yes, many people in that superdome just wanted shelter and food and were willing to wait their turn, but they were side by side with those who would just as soon stab them as look at them. And, quite frankly, that attitude permeates all classes of people, not only the poor.

Truly it is horrifying to see the nasty images on television, but to blanket blame it on the slow response of FEMA is crazy. Where the heck were the people of Louisiana? Because of the looting many policemen turned in their badges and quit. They simply could not control it. Were all the people looting? No, but those who chose to do so made it that much more difficult to put a plan into place for the law abiding citizens.

If we want to see how something like that could happen in America, I say look into your own heart. We are one of the most selfish, selfserving people on the planet, living for ourselves. It is true that in a crisis many Americans rise to the occasion and help others, but for the most part we are looking out for number one. All you have to do is take that one step further to get closer to the understanding of how something like that could happen in America.

Logistically speaking, how many of us really know what is involved in evacuating citizens? How many of us have ever had to make a decision like that? If we know a storm is coming and we know three days in advance, how many of us wouldn't bother to get any medications that we might need? Or to make sure that we have enough water? Or to make the decision to leave if we had to and go to a friend's or a relative's? Unless we have been in that sort of situation, how do we know what should be done and how? Yet we can criticize and point fingers of blame without knowing anything. That is speaking out of ignorance and it is the most dangerous of all speaking. We speak of what we do not know as if we know all about it. We have no answers or no better plan but we criticize anyway. We are not involved in the political process in any way, shape, or form, yet we criticize. We are not involved because they are all liars and crooks and what not, but we criticize. Shame on us. Especially shame on Christians who speak of what they do not know and do nothing about the things they perceive as wrong, except criticize.

Was President Bush at fault? Not necessarily. Especially when you think about his involvment in terms of what was supposed to happen with help on the state level. As I understand FEMA, they come in after the disaster and are not responsible for the logistics of the places receiving the aid; that having been taken care of by the state officials. Further, we are talking flood waters full of down electrical lines, snakes, e-coli, and parts of the city ripe with anarchy. So, go ahead, blame the President, after all, if he was doing his job there would have been no looting and no one without food and water in the superdome, right?