Condoleezza Rice and Jenny Oaks Baker have done an instrumental performance of Amazing Grace. There is a YouTube video available or you can buy it on iTunes. The proceeds go to benefit Wounded Warrior Project. The only reason I haven’t bought it is that I really don’t like iTunes. I hope they decide to make it available on Amazon so I can buy it and play it on my devices that don’t support iTunes.
I completely and totally support the free exercise of religion as defined by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. If you want to face Mecca and pray five times a day I have no problem with that. However if your religion says it’s OK to commit violence against innocent people and you enjoy it, then I believe the First Amendment doesn’t cover that. The kinds of things described by David French in this article are blatantly unacceptable to me.
I am not going to start drawing pictures of Mohamed, but I support Pamela Geller. I support Martin Scorsese’s First Amendment right to make the film The Last Temptation of Christ. As a Christian, I choose not to view it. If we don’t protect offensive speech, then free speech means nothing. Muslims have every right to criticize Pamela Geller’s actions. We cannot afford to wait for things to get as they are in other countries. Should we wait until Muslims start burning churches to the ground? I say the answer is no.
The heart of my political agenda is that I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she can use the talents which God has given her. I have thus far underutilized the talents that God has given me.
This is going to sound contradictory, but I don’t think it is. I want to teach her to be strong and independent. I also want her to find a man who is her equal, who will be a partner with her in life. I want her to be happy regardless of whether she finds such a man or not, but I believe she will be happier if she finds such a man. I want her to find a man who needs her as much as she needs him.
I am returning to post a link to a Rolling Stone article that is almost two years old. It was written by Michael Hastings, a journalist who has been dead for almost a year. Yet it couldn’t be more timely. It is a well written article about Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier that we traded five Taliban leaders to get back. I’m not going to say what I believe about this, because I haven’t had a chance to read the entire article. So go read it and make up your own mind. I intend to do the same once I get a chance.
I just read this article by Juan Williams about the war on Christians in other parts of the world. I frequently disagree with Mr. Williams, but I completely agree with this article. There are parts of the world today where simply being a Christian places your life in danger. That we are debating about the “War on Christmas” in our country while remaining silent about the fate of those in other countries who are facing death for being Christians is absurd. Thanks to Ed Morrissey for bringing the article to my attention.
Here is a quote from President Obama. There is a video to provide confirmation that he actually said this. It is such a disconnect from the actions of the Obama Administration that I can’t help but be cynical.
I know that there are a few Republicans here in the audience … If you talk to us, it turns out we’re pretty common-sense folks. We don’t think government can do everything … We don’t think that top-down solutions are the right way to go. We believe in the free market. We believe in a light touch when it comes to regulations. We don’t want to tax all businesses out of business … But we do think that there’s a role to play for government.
Here are my first thoughts:
1. Mr. Obama do you really believe that the Affordable Care act isn’t a top down solution?
2. Do you believe the Exchanges in the Affordable Care Act bear more than a slight resemblance to the free market?
3. If President Obama’s regulatory touch has been light, I would hate to see a heavy handed regulator.
4. Mr. President, do you just want to tax every business that pollutes the environment out of business? Or just tax every Republican owned business out of business?
I have a friend who went to a state school and got a Bachelor’s Degree. When last I heard, his student loan payment was larger than our mortgage payment. He’s the friend that has more luck than anyone else I know, I just can’t figure out whether it’s good or bad. While the student loan balance hanging over his head isn’t the only problem he has, it is a large problem that he will have with him for the rest of his life.
When my friend was in college, he thought he’d get a job making tons of money, so he didn’t worry about the student loans. Another friend and I tried to encourage him to borrow less and get out of school sooner. My friend went to college for the maximum number of semesters and took the maximum loan every semester. Worse, my friend works in a field totally unrelated to his degree.
I have a friend who has an two year degree who is much better off financially than my friend with the four year degree. I suspect that has to do with the fact that has to do with his having the good fortune to get out of school and pay off his student loans before my friend with the four year degree.
Our government seems to be steering everyone to a four year degree and crushing student loan debt. Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should do some form of education or training after high school. IF there is one thing that successful people share, I suspect it is the desire to never stop learning. It is however a mistake to drive everyone to the one size fits all plan that is a four year college degree. Everyone kid in high school should come up with a plan for what they’re going to do after high school. For many of those kids, that plan will include a four year degree. But for many of those kids, there’s a good plan that doesn’t include a four year degree.
Every time I think about my friend with the degree and the crushing debt, I have to wonder about all those who went to college and left without their degree. How are they going to pay their student loans? Or more importantly, how are they going to get on with their lives?
As Kevin Drum says in this article, student loan debt is a real problem. The chart says a lot. However here are two things the chart doesn’t say. It is an awful problem that will still be around even if we drop the interest rate on student loans to zero. More importantly, the government created this mess in an effort to help people!
Instapundit links to this article on budgeting and Dave Ramsey’s budgeting process. Since my wife and I are in our second month of the budgeting process, I have some thoughts about the article I wanted to share.
Yes, the envelope system is constrained, but Dave only suggests that for certain categories. Things like groceries and eating out are two excellent categories for envelopes for example. But a lot of categories aren’t suited to the envelope system. My wife and I are doing a budget every four weeks. We do the budget in pencil because we have to make changes. Within 15 minutes of making our last budget, we came up with a list of three things we hadn’t included. We’ll be revising the budget to handle those. We can always rearrange our budget to handle unexpected events. Dave Ramsey’s budgeting process isn’t as constrained as the article would have you believe.
I read this post by Elie Mystal about why $250,000 doesn’t make him rich in his town. I’ve been thinking about his post for some time. I have long said that $250,000 in a big city is like $100,000 in the town where we live. Upon further reflection, that may not be right. It is possible to live in our town with a $100,000 per year income and not live in a place that looks like it was just robbed. It’s also possible to live in our town on $100,000 per year and have assets that aren’t judgement proof.
My wife and I have a decent income, but we seem to be experts at spending 105% of our income. We finally decided to do something about it and have enrolled in Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University. So far we have made a budget, and are sticking to it. Our next step is to get rid of our non-mortgage debt. We have a plan to do that, I’d just like for it not to take four years.