Ye Olde Swimming Hole

current, insightful, yet nostalgic

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bush's latest speech on Iraq

The Washington Post has some interesting analysis of Bush's latest speech. Bush is sticking with his guns, literally and figuratively. The Democrats are calling for a concise strategy. That's seems reasonably, and of course the military has a strategy, or at least we hope so. But is it wise for the administration to go touting our strategy, knowing the terrorists will use that information to counter it?

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Moon over Mars

A rare look a the moon and Mars together. God's creations are amazing.

Take some time to stop, look and ponder.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A past-due and much needed hearing

Several researchers presented to a Senate committee last week on the impact of pornography on America. I'm convinced that this problem will cause immense, even catostrophic harm in America. Pres. Bush recently warned of the dangers of the bird flu and committed billions to fighting it. However, pornography will cause much more damage to America than this bird flu would, yet we are doing little as a country to fight it. As groups come forward to fight this, we will hear people will mock them saying we have much greater problems in the country to deal with. Those problems are much more visible so they will get the most attention. Hopefully lawmakers will be brave enough to come forward and fight this. Bird flus, wars, hurricanes and economic problems may slow the economic progress of the nation, but pornograpny will (and is) destroy our soul, both as individuals and as a nation. As you destroy the inner strength of people and destroy their ability to care for and love others and create and nuture loving families, you destroy an entire nation.

Hurricane ravaged towns can be rebuilt in months or years, wars end, and pandemics pass, but when you destroy the inner strength and goodness of people, the consequences last for generations.

Aversion to Punishment

Our current society seems to have an aversion to punishment. I agree that we need to forgive and forget and allow others to move on, and forgiveness is one of the things that can help change the world immensely. However, there are times when consequences need to be metting out. That happened this last week when the Philadelphia Eagles suspended Terrell Owens after giving him chance after chance to improve his conduct.

Now, Jesse Jackson, is calling for the Eagles to rescind the suspension saying he talked to T.O. and believes he is sincere. It's quite easy to be sincere when finally you see that you have brought upon yourself great harm because of your actions. I'm not talking about one or two mistakes made because of bad judgement, but repeated offenses with blatant disregard for their affect on others or the organization you represent.

I hope Terrell Owens can turn his life around, but I support the Eagles in their decision. This is not some poor working-class man who now will struggle to make ends meet because he lost his job. We're talking about a guy who has made more money than any one individual needs, but just wanted more and more without regard to the impact of his complaining and behavior on others. He'll be all right and most likely a better person when his year of probation is completed. It will also teach young athletes that class is an important part of being an athlete.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Have you seen Mars lately?

I asked this question of a friend lately and because of the randomness of the circumstances in which I asked it, he just laughed. However, Mars is a beautiful site lately. It's closer than it will be until 2018 (or something like that). Go outside and look at it and think how amazing it is that we have two, man-made rovers up there exploring it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who's to Blame in France?

The Paris riots are continuing and have spread throughout France, although they have subsided somewhat. So who is to blame? Or the better question is "who contributed to the problem?" I don't know all the ins and outs on the issue, but I was thinking more about this today and came to the (perhaps obvious) conclusion that it is the parents of these rioters who contributed through either their comission or omission or both. Why have they not taught their children that another country was welcoming enough to give them a shot at a better life? Why haven't they taught them to respect the land that welcomed them?

Of course there may be policy issues that are not as favorable as they could be to immigrants, but that does not give you license to destroy the land that gave you a chance at a better life. It's time for people to take some personal responsibility. Look at groups in America and other countries in history who were persecuted underpriviledged. Did they destroy their country? No, they went to work and made it better. Blaming other people for our problems gets us no where. These people have got to except responsibility for their futures and not rely on some government to ensure they have a good life.

Related to this incident; do you think authorities in America would let these kinds of riots go on for so long? I don't think so. Look at what happened in New Orleans. After a few days of looting, a shoot-to-kill order was given. The looting suddenly subsided. When order is at risk an anarchy rules, that is a time when the government needs to step up and provide order.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Paris riots

Although admittedly I do not know a lot about the situation, the Paris riots are a shameful display of anti-social behavior. It's yet another example of people blaming others for their own situation. This is particularly troubling because this group of people chose (or their parents chose) to immigrant to Europe, supposedly in search of a better life. And when they do not find what they perceive as a better life what do they do? They try to wreck the very country that gave their parents the opportunity for that new life. Like I say, I may not have all of the facts but to me it seems like gross ingratitude.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Former FEMA chief

When I first heard the criticism of the FEMA chief as Katrina unfolded, I thought perhaps the media was being too hard on him and not realizing the magnitude of the disaster he was dealing with. However, after reading the emails that were sent by his office during the crisis, I'm not as forgiving. There's no doubt he was under an incredible amount of pressure, but the lack of hard work and effort in responding is troubling. I think you still have to give him some benefit of the doubt. Everyone who uses emails knows that flippant emails are sent, even during crisis situations, but it's still troubling to think that everything possible was not done quickly to respond to the disaster.

In a way I feel bad for Michael Brown though. Perhaps he was placed in a position he was not prepared to fill. I hope things still work out for the best for he and his family. It will be tough to recover from the bad publicity.

Time to quit the habit

ABC News is doing a series on smoking and a campaign to get people to quit. It's quite remarkable how public opinion has shifted to condemn smoking. It's a good thing to improve the health of the people in the nation and reduce health care costs. It's also good because it will reduce the amount of times we have to breath secondhand smoke blown in our faces as we're walking down the sidewalk and watching smokers flick glowing cigarette butts out of their car windows as they drive down the road. It will also greatly benefit those who are in the grip of this addiction.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Global warming: What does the future hold?

Tonight I watched part of a program on global warming on public television. The program tried to leave viewers with no doubt that global warming is and will continue to cause major problems for the future of the planet and humankind. One question I was left with, however, was whether there are any positive consequences of a warming globe. There's no doubt global warming will have serious consequences, but the producers seemed to have to stretch to show some of those consequences (others are very evident and worrisome). This no doubt will be a major discussion point for the years to come.