Thursday, January 27, 2011

Think-A-Minute: Character Trumps Policy

Note: This post is largely inspired by (and possibly completely ripped off from) Wall Builders.

Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But, if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn.

I know some say, let us have good laws, and no matter for the men that execute them: but let them consider, that though good laws do well, good men do better: for good laws may want good men, and be abolished or evaded by ill men, but good men will never want (lack) good laws, nor suffer ill ones.

-William Penn, Frame of Government of Pennsylvania, May 5, 1682

Can a country last long which elects as it's rulers those of low character, even if they proclaim wise policy? Not according to William Penn. His argument is clear, no matter how good the laws, it is the men & women in office that enforce them. And if those men & women are of low character, they whey will "warp and spoil government" to their benefit.

It therefore behooves us to ensure only good people achieve office and then to watch closely to ensure they remain good.

Think about that. And remember it whenever you're called upon to select leaders.

Think-A-Minute: Catastrophic processes? Inconceivable!

Everybody knows the earth is billions of years old. It was formed through slow geological processes that take, for example, a million years, or so, to lay down a layer of rock one or two millimeters thick. And even longer for a river to cut a channel through it, which eventually becomes a canyon like, oh let's just say Grand Canyon. And the reason we don't see it happening is that it's such a slow process, and our lives (and for that matter all of recorded history) are so short.

And then along comes the Mt. St. Helens eruption of 1980, and catastrophically lays down thousands of layers of lava, debris, and ash in a matter of hours. Then, two years later, a smaller, mid-winter eruption melts the snow and ice in the crater causing catastrophic mud flows that carved out a mini Grand Canyon through the stratified rock layers in a few short days. It's as if Someone wanted us to know that millions of years are not required, just catastrophic circumstances.

So, if the long ages are not geologically necessary, why are geologists so adamant about their interpretation, clinging to the age-old rocks like The Man In Black dangling at the brink of the Cliffs of Insanity? And what other supposed long, slow geological processes could be better explained by catastrophes (or one big catastrophe)? I do not think it means what they think it means.

Dig deeper:
Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism
Mount St. Helens—evidence for Genesis!

Photo Credit:
Image lifted from Google Image Search. Originally from The Princess Bride (1987), directed by Rob Reiner.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank You for Your Service

This is a heart felt thank-you to all of the faithful men & women of the U.S. armed services, here at home and abroad. We appreciate your dedicated service and sacrifice, not just on November 11th, but all throughout the year. As Christmas approaches, I pray that Almighty God will protect you and keep you safe, comfort you and your families during your seperation, and bring you home safely.

Photo Credit:
John Tlumacki, staff photog for the Boston Globe

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seven Score and Five Years ago...

On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln addressed the audience of around 15,000 at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Hot on the heels of the more-than-two-hour speech delivered by Orator Edward Everett that was officially the dedicatory speech for the cemetery, Lincoln delivered his 277 word speech, eulogizing the dead soldiers and re-affirming the civil war effort. Though he thought his words would be quickly forgotten, this Gettysburg Address has survived as one of the most enduring speeches in history. It marked a turning point in the nation's sentiment for both the war and the emancipation of the slaves.

Earlier this month, seven score and five years later, America elected her first black president in Barack Obama.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.