Saturday, December 23, 2006

Rosie & Illegal Aliens

I do not know who makes me want to puke more: Rosie O'Donnell or the Mexican illegal immigrants demanding their rights. I have tried to avoid expressing my opinion on these two publicly mainly because I feel like I do not have all the facts required to form an intelligent opinion. I still do not have all the facts and one still may not think my opinion is intelligent but I cannot be quiet any more. As outspoken as these two are, I have to speak back.

I thank God that I live in a country where we can speak our mind. I realize that not all peoples have this right and it makes me proud to be an American and yet, as with any right, there comes responsibility. Without responsibility, rights are abused. The first amendment to our Constitution guarantees free speach but common sense has to be used in civilized society. The old adage about shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater is an example. There are a number of factors to consider with free speach including context, audience, and credibility and it adds up to a right that can easily be abused especially in this day where common sense has been thrown out the window to make room for political correctness.

Let me start with Miss Rosie O'Donnell and I first have to say that I sincerely appreciate what Rosie does with her charity work that usually involves kids. Since 1997, Rosie's For All Kids Foundation has awarded more than $18 million in Early Childhood Care and Education program grants to over 900 nonprofit organizations that provide important opportunities for thousands of America’s kids in need. That is really incredible and I will gladly give her a hand for that. I wish more people cared about kids that much. She is also a multi award-winning talk show host and overall entrepreneur with magazine, television, and movie work all under her rather large belt. You might remember her from some of these favorites:
Oh, there are some classics in there! In fact, it is somewhat of a tradition at our house around Christmas to break out our well-worn copy of "Car 54, Where Are You?" and spend some quality time. Nothing says "family fun" like overweight lesbians in B-Movies!

Okay, okay, I"ll stop! But I just cannot take it anymore! First, Rosie, who also has stand-up comedy experience, is the least funny person on the planet. Second, even with all that camera time, she is still a poor actress and performer. Third, she is hideous to look at. She makes Pauly Shore look funny and Rush Limbaugh look attractive. AIDS-infected orphans in Africa feel sorry for her. Okay, I did not stop and maybe not all of that is fact but the sad part is that those things are not the real reason for the problems I have with Rosie. There are plenty of no-talent hacks in this world. The problem I have with Rosie is her mouth or, more specifically, the trash that comes out of it.

Let me let Rosie speak for herself. At different times, "The Queen of Nice" has said,
-"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."
"Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers."
“This President invaded a sovereign nation in defiance of the UN. He is basically a war criminal. Honestly. He should be tried at The Hague. This man lied to the American public about the reasons for invading a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11. And as a Democrat, as a member of this democracy...I feel I have a responsibility to speak out, as does every other person who disagrees with this administration. And it’s scary in a country that you can say something against the President and then worry about your career. That Dan Rather gets taken off CBS News for writing, for saying a report that essentially was true, that George Bush did not show up-”
-"The NRA is buying votes with blood money!"
-"I am not the kind of actress who gets parts based on my physical appearance."

Well, she was right about one of them! I also agree with the right she has to let such idiocy come out of her mouth. The problem is that she has no common sense! She has no credibility and she obviously is in way over her oversized head in matters other than "Where's the best buffet?" Rosie, please keep your mouth shut on things about which you have no knowledge!

As much as I dislike Rosie and the words that she speaks, I have to admit that she, while being a sad commentary on what Americans consider entertainment, is considerably less of a threat to national security than our illegal immigration problem. Just so that we are crystal clear on this subject, the illegal immigration of which I infer is the crossing of the Mexico-U.S. border without the legal right that comes with citizenship with the intent to stay and work and/or raise a family. One understands that my definition is limited and purposefully so. One must also understand that my intent is never to offend anyone (okay, maybe Rosie) but I want to be very specific. The title "Mexican" is used for citizens of Mexico just as "American" is used for citizens of America. I do not feel obligated to use "North American". Hispanics come from Spain. Latinos are from Latin America. Is everybody offended now? I hope not. For the subject today, those will be the titles.

There are some things that I understand about this problem and there are some things that I do not understand. I understand the desire to want to better oneself and have a better job with higher wages and more opportunity. I understand wanting to get away from a corrupt government, wasteful spending, poverty and crime. The United States may not be anywhere close to perfect but it is still the greatest nation on the planet. Not only is our government less corrupt and less wasteful than Mexico's but we are a nation that has always encouraged diversity. We started out as a melting pot and will continue. The problem seems to be that some immigrants do not want to "melt".

The parts that I do not understand include the reasons why immigrants do not want to legally apply for citizenship and when they come into our country illegally they want to assume the rights of legal citizens. Surely I am missing something here! When you break the law, you forfeit rights. Remember? Without resposibility, rights are abused. When you abuse a right it is only fair that you lose that right. The very definition of an illegal alien implies a loss of rights. I am absolutely not against immigration. If a person makes the effort required to legally become a citizen then I will look forward to them being here. Understand, though, that rapists forfeit their rights are and are not allowed to be natural citizens. Bank robbers forfeit their rights. Drug sellers forfeit their rights. People who kill kittens will forfeit at least some of their rights and rightfully so. What I seem to be hearing from the Mexicans is that because there are so many of them that they should be exempt from having to immigrate legally.

I understand that part of the blame for this huge problem falls on the shoulders of the United States lawmakers who are more concerned about getting votes than doing the right thing. I understand that the Mexican presence is incredibly large and getting larger in America and that business owners can make more money by hiring lower wage-earning Mexicans who are undocumented. This is a problem that is actually hurting everyone involved and will, sooner or later, implode on itself as fewer people are paying taxes to subsidize an increasing number of recipients. Please, my Mexican friends, have some common sense and take some responsibility. Our country was built on it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lesson learned

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people? Have you thought about why sometimes good people have bad things happen while awful people sometimes seem to breeze through life? Sure you have. We all have. I can tell you right now that I am not the guy with all the answers by a long shot but I learned something recently that gave me a little bit of insight into the matter. This will by no means explain everything and I make no claim as to the mind of God but I learned recently a valuable lesson that brought me a new realization of the omniscience of our Creator.

I went with six close church friends to New Orleans for a couple of days last week. We went to help do some work on a church that had been badly damaged by the hurricane but quickly realized that was not the main reason that we had been sent there. Our first day we worked on the church some but then got word that a church member and her husband needed our help as well. Their house had extensive water damage and needed to have the interior walls completely torn down. We were glad we could help but somewhat taken aback by the man of the house. This man, Bill, was not a member of the church like his wife but claimed to be an Atheist. He made several other claims that make me believe that Bill does not know what to believe.

After being at his house for just a few minutes, I knew we were in the right place. Bill was an older man, probably seventy pounds overweight, a chain smoker and a very loud, obnoxious man who seemed to want to scare off the "religious" guys by using at least one curse word in every sentence. He would not listen to anything anybody said about much of anything and made it clear that he did not want to hear about God or church. He said God killed his son and he was mad at God. Yes, the God that did not exist was a murderer! Bill said several times that it was his anger that kept him going and he was not going to give it up.

I have to admit that I looked at Bill as a target. I was bound and determined that I was going to tell Bill about Jesus even if I had to fight him! I knew the chances of me having another opportunity with him would be slim and so while most of the others kept working I got Bill in my sights and just went for it! I found Bill in the trailer in which they were staying in the front yard and went in to cram Jesus down his throat but I didn't get the chance.

My friend Scott had already found Bill and was sitting there talking about sports when I walked in the trailer. Bill was loudly telling Scott everything he knew about everything and and as soon as he paused to take a breath I tried to change the subject to more divine matters. The problem was that Bill just talked over me loudly and persistently. He said he was angry. He admitted that his anger was not necessarily directed at anything. He was just angry. He was mainly angry because his twenty-six year old son had died five years ago and as much as I tried to tell him that Jesus understood and cared for him and wanted to have a relationship with him, Bill just tuned me out frustrating both of us.

That was when Scott started telling Bill about his own son, Ryan, who had died about the same time that Bill lost his son. Ryan was in high school when cancer took his life and, as one can understand, tore a hole in Scott's very being. Bill listened as Scott went on to tell how it seemed unfair at the time that Ryan would be taken in the prime of his life when they all had such lofty goals for him. Bill, who had complained earlier that nobody understood his pain, loudly expressed his gratefulness that, finally, somebody understood! Finally, somebody could relate to him! I remember his words: "You understand! You understand!", he said, pointing his finger at Scott.

I knew right then that God was telling me to shut up and start praying. I sat there praying for both Scott and Bill as they "compared notes" on their sons' deaths and bonded through that in a way that I could never have known. Scott told Bill in a way that only God could lead that one of Scott's reasons for getting up in the morning is the fact that he knows that he will see Ryan again in Heaven one day. You could almost see that thought sinking in to Bill's mind and I could barely contain myself as I witnessed the Holy Spirit of our loving and forgiving God work on Bill's heart and mind.

We left Bill's trailer that day without Bill coming to have a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ but Scott left his card and the promise that we would all be praying for him. This was not an empty promise and I know for a fact that most all of us that were on that trip have been and will continue to be praying for Bill. I am burdened for Bill and cannot wait to hear back from New Orleans about him. If nothing else though I realized that, as the Bible says, the rain falls on the just and the unjust and that sometimes God allows us to go through hard times so that we can be that light in the darkness for which a blind world is desperately looking. Again, I do not have any claim to the mind of God but I appreciate the lesson He taught me through this.

How to save time and energy while deer hunting

Something I learned last week that will save you time, energy, money, and possibly a friendship.

Step 1) Ask your hunting buddy over to your house.
Step 2) Print out a copy of this picture of the woods.
Step 3) Both of you go stand in front of the open freezer door.
Step 4) Stand there staring intently at the picture for hours and hours.
Step 5) Slam freezer door, throw away picture and thank your buddy for coming over.

If I had done that last week I would have been better off!