Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Christian Nation?

Our president recently made the comment that we were no longer a Christian Nation. I'm not going to support, rebut, or have a debate on that, but just make an observation.
A couple days ago, the White House hosted the first three men who stepped on the moon, honoring them for their brave efforts forty years ago.
That very night, I happened to catch a bit of "When We Left Earth," a documentary about those days, the drama of which I was too young to appreciate at the time. The show played video of a camera showing the earth getting smaller and smaller as the spacecraft headed away from Earth toward a rendezvous with a moon they hoped to orbit and land on. As they headed deeper into space, one of the men on the spacecraft was reciting the first portion of Genesis 1. "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth....
That was only 40 years ago this week, and now we're no longer a Christian nation. How fast things change!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Always Right to do Right... is never right to do wrong in order to accomplish right. These words, read many years ago in a book on police ethics, came rushing back to me the other day when another police officer sent me the web link to a story about a police officer, only a short time away from his pension, who was caught in a lie. Not just a lie, put perjury! He lied under oath in court. Now he has lost his job, his pension, and faces time in jail for his action.
The link was sent to me no doubt wanting to evoke sympathy for the officer and maybe outrage at the actions of his department in taking the action they had. I didn't react that way. I fear that the actions of this officer, in addition to allowing a (probably guilty) suspect to go free has cast his agency, and all police officers in it in a bad light.
Certainly I feel sorry for his family who now has to live with the results of his action, but pity for him? Nope! Don't have any.

Eeny, Meeny Miney...

So where's Mo? Better yet, who is Mo? The three mentioned are the three people the pundits are calling the for the next republican presidential race. Huckabee, Romney and Palin.
One thing that's clear from everything I've read: whether they like her, love her, or loathe her, they still don't fully understand Palin. Probably because they just can't get a handle on her, can't figure her out.
Last night I watched a short documentary on some of the events of the Reagan presidency. His own people couldn't always figure him out, except that he did what he thought was right, in spite of polls and all the advice from the professional politicians.
My personal opinion would be Huckabee and Palin in the #1 and #2 spots of this nation, but Romney's not a bad choice either from what I've seen. I think all three will stand up for what is right.
However, maybe there's a fourth person out there waiting in the wings (the Mo). Maybe he or she will show up in the next few months and take the nation, at least the republicans and conservatives by storm, unifying them for long enough to bring the country out of liberal democratic control.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More on Passions

Another of my permanent passions has been my long term relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. It is best summed up by the words of the hymn:

And when I think, that God his Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died, to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.

Passing Passions

This has nothing to do with the passion I have for my wife. That's a different issue, a permanent passion. My profession is another which has never waned. This is about the other lesser passions in life, maybe best called passing passions.

I have been a life-long lover of guns. My dad called me "Billy Gun" in my early years and I can't recall a time when I didn't have at least some interest in firearms. Over the last 20 years one of my favorite hang outs has been a gun shop in which I've had the opportunity to handle guns of all types. I've also been a police and security firearms instructor for about 20 years and had untold hours of pleasure in training others in the use of guns. However, over the years that has begun to wane a bit. I have found myself drawn to other interests and have had to prioritize my time accordingly.

I've had a wide variety of passing passions. I spent several years actively training in a gym. They were good years, I made several friends, and my overall health benefited from it. I transitioned from that to martial arts and trained hard for about 8 years. Though an injury now keeps me from participating as I'd like to, I still consider myself to be a marital artist. I also spent a few years bicycling quite hard. All of these have had a positive effect on my life.

I spent some time delving back into my childhood and tinkered around with some old farm tractors for a while--that was fun and I rebuilt some of my mechanical skills, but it got to the point where I was working too hard for the amount of fun I was having. I still have the interest, but don't do much with it.

I also played with snowmobiles for a couple years, but now that's almost love turned to hate--can't stand them.

Now I'm into motorcycles... Harleys, as a matter of fact, and have a love affair with a bike older than two of my kids and many of my co-workers. It tends to occupy quite a bit of my spare time. This was a return to an interest of 30+ years ago, an interested dropped due to lack of time and money. It has also helped rebuild my mechanical skills.

The point here is that all these passing passions have had an effect on me, having changed my life in one way or another; some changes have been physical, some mental, or maybe attitudinal, but all have been changes. Also, these have been passions, more than just short-term interests. These are things to which I dedicated time, money and effort. In retrospect, I can say that all my passions, both passing and permanent have been worthwhile investments. I've received some reward for my involvement with all of them.

I look around and see so may folks today, young folks, middle aged and older folks without passions. They go through life bouncing from one thing to another, never making any one thing important, not making any investment of time, effort of money in anything. They've never invested themselves in anything, and so have never reaped the rewards.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fighting the Same Battles

Years ago, I followed three or four gun magazines religiously. I devoured every thing written by the likes of Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Skeeter Skelton, and others too numerous to mention. One thing you could count on. Keith, Jordan and Skelton always "stuck to their guns" if you'll pardon the pun. They had their opinions, all based upon years of experience and held to them firmly. Not that they always agreed. Far from it, as a matter of fact; but they all had good reason for their opinions and told what worked for them.
The old magazines also had what I'll called rotating arguments. It usually revolved around what was the best cartridge, bullet, powder or load, for a given purpose. The one I usually zeroed in on was the "stopping power" argument, which generally revolved around the .38, 9mm, .357 and .45 ACP cartridges. If memory serves me correctly, the arguments seemed to rotate among the magazines each month, with one round winning the argument each month in each tabloid.
Somewhere in mid-adulthood, I tired of the arguments and quit reading them all, however keeping a firm interest in the topic due to my profession.
Every once in a while, I pick up a magazine and find that similar battles are still being waged but with new guns and calibers. Meanwhile, the same old guns still are in the field and still work--sometimes better than others, but work they do. .357 magnums and .38 specials are still working in police and security circles even though the field is now dominated by the auto pistols---with a couple new calibers coming on strong. .308s and 30-06s still kill innumerable deer, bear and moose across North America and other venerable aged cartridges find equal use in Europe and Asia, all the while new ones come out about every day. some finding their niche, some fading away into obscurity.
So what's the point of this rambling? Well, I'm not really sure. But I know that some things never change. The old will still be serviceable; the new will still come on the scene; at least with guns and ammo. We seem to be in search of the perfect solution to all problems. I suppose it would be nice if we could buy one gun and have it work for all situations, but there would be no fun in that I guess, and nothing new and good would ever be discovered.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Maybe No Business is Good Business

Currently, the New York State Senate is out of business. It has been rendered by powerless by a couple of "rebel" Democrats who have splintered away from their party and joined with Republicans., except that one of them went running back--I think. The bottom line is that the entire house has stopped up the business of government. Nothing is being done. Sessions are opened and closed almost in the same breath with nothing being done.
Maybe that's not all a bad thing. New York was poised on the edge of a gay marriage bill--that's effectively dead as long as business is stalled. With liberals in charge of the committees, no doubt that gun control laws were on agenda. Now they're stalled as well which is another good thing.
I'm sure that there is business that must be conducted in order to continue the affairs of State, but maybe it's not all a bad thing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Changing Your Nation

While vacationing in Canada, in the lovely Province of Prince Edward Island--yes we checked out all the Avonlea stuff--we attended church on Fathers Day in a small, country church. We're always wary of denominations because there seems to be no guarantee that any name is indicative of its belief anymore, and agonized over where we'd go, not wanting to find ourselves in a church which taught a social gospel; but found ourselves in this church and were warmly welcomed by all and happy with the time spent there.
In the message, which was directed toward fathers, the pastor made one of the most profound statements I'd heard about what we can do to be effective in changing our nation (Interesting that I heard this in a nation not my own!) His statement was "the way to change our nation is not to complain about the government, but to father our children."
Simple, yet awsome words! If each man took responsibility to truly "father" his children, they would be more likely to grow up into responsible adults. They in turn would produce another generation of responsible adults and in two or three generations we could see some incredible changes.
No earthy father has been, is now, or ever will be perfect, nor will every child grow up responsibly, but if only every father would make the effort.....

Breaking the Silence

The Ammo Box has been empty these days, much like the space normally occupied by .380 ammo in gun shops. Not that I haven't had anything to say, just the time to sit and compose all the thoughts has been eluding me.
I've actually taken some time for fun, something that I probably did far too little of during the years I held my full-time job with the state. Then, it aways seemed that something (job related) back home needed to be thought about, planned, or needed phone calls made, emails written, or some other involvement that may not have ruined, but surely impacted nearly all, if not all, the time off I ever took.
So, in the last couple months I've taken a couple days to do some good motorcyle trips with some good friends, spent some time traveling with my wife in places we'd never been before and have tried to get back into just enjoying life, not worrying about what's got to be done next--thought that's a hard thing for a type A person to avoid.
I'll be trying to make some regular commentary on something again. Maybe that means having to pay attention to the news again; though maybe not that much attention.