This is truly unbelievable to me. Now Obama wants to bail out Hamas while some of our military efforts are underfunded.

Here's a quote from the article -

Our own generals requested 30,000 troops in order to roll out a new strategy and fight terrorists in Afghanistan and they got but 17,000 committed. Our efforts to combat al-Qaeda's narcotics money tree and undermine their popular support in Pakistan are expected to be short-funded $167.5 million with no redress in sight, yet the commitment is already made to spend $900 million of your tax dollars rebuilding Hamas' home turf.

No one should stand for this.

From the economy, to banking, to the military, Obama is changing America and I don't like any of it. All of this should be remembered at the polls in 2010 and 2012.

Read all of the article here.


Time to Dump the Inbox

I rifled through the Inbox here at Central Standard and came up with a few things that you must know, if you must know.

Number One Son and his roommate have posted more graphic art over at their blog, Spare Oom. I particularly like this one - I'd say it's good enough to be a poster or a postage stamp, but then, that's Dad talking.

This is an ugly development, I think. The Cardinals had two second basemen before Christmas. Now we're rifling through the outfielder drawer to find one. I am not impressed with the performance of Cards' GM John Mozeliak to this point. Obviously, if the club wins around 90 and is in the hunt well into September, well then, I'm wrong. But right now I'd say the All-Star Game is going to be the highlight in St. Louis aside from the day-to-day heroics of Albert Pujols.

You'll want to see this from the guys at Powerline and get one before Obama rejects as false the notion of you mocking the current administration.

The liberals, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and many, many others believe that people who are wealthy should be punished, penalized. I have never understood why this is admirable. It is simply envy carried out to it's wickedly logical ends. I don't begrudge anyone who makes money. As a matter of fact, I try to learn from those who can make money so I can make more, too.

Anyway, the liberals, contemplating a deficit well over 1 TRILLION dollars (trillion = 1,000,000 x 1,000,000) are looking for ways to tax the wealthy and their businesses. But there's a problem. Simply, it won't work. Still, they will try.

Aren't you glad the smart ones run the government now?


Hey, Coffee Breath!

Kevin DeYoung of DeYoung, Restless and Reformed makes an observation about coffee shops and McDonald's and ministry to our culture. I like his point and I think it's funny. But more than that, he asks a great question, I'm paraphrasing - "Why is a coffee shop better than McDonald's?"

Here's how he said it:

“. . . so much that passes for spirituality these days is nothing more than middle class, 20something coffee culture. If you like jazz, soul patches, earth tone furniture, and lattes, that's cool. But this culture is no holier than the McNugget, Hi-C, Value City, football culture that most people live in. Why does incarnational ministry usually mean hanging out at Starbucks instead of McDonalds?”

Why indeed?

Part of the answer, I think, is simply that coffee shops are popular now. Soul patches are popular now. I don't think most black-leather draped, hip missionals are thinking too deeply about the relative values of McDonald's and coffee shops. And probably, in about 15 years, when some of these folks are riding herd on a van full of little soccer players, McDonald's is going to look pretty darn good.

Meanwhile, in other coffee-related opinion, James Lileks, everybody's friend, has this to say about Starbucks:

"I’m tired of the vague, carefully tasteful, placeless hip of Starbucks. It’s a stage set, nothing more, and whenever I go there I never feel like I have the right script."

I feel the same way, like I don't know my lines when I'm in these places. There is a smugness that permeates the air and I don't understand why I'm supposed to feel smug because I'm having mocha in an old building that looks a lot cooler than it used to.

Besides, I make a better frozen mocha at my house than any coffee shop in town and I'll even tell you how I do it, I'm not proud. But I will say this - the independent shops are more fun, more 'real' than the 'set' at Starbucks.



Play Ball!

Tomorrow is the Day of Love and no guy should have to be reminded of what this day holds.

Yes, tomorrow pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the St. Louis Cardinals. Some other squads have already begun and by next week all the teams will have started. Camp always begins with the pitchers and catchers, but there are always a few position players around who like to get going early.

But, sadly, though the season has not yet begun, another steroid scandal has rocked the sport. Team trainers for the Pittsburgh Pirates were caught NOT giving any steroids to Pirate players. Confronted with these allegations, they admitted they haven't given Pittsburgh ballplayers ANY steroids for decades. Said one, "We think it's why Barry left! He wanted to be a winner." Bonds, a free agent, is expected to sign with a Leavenworth squad sometime in the next year.

The Dodgers moved their spring training home to Arizona after 60 years at Vero Beach, Florida. It was an emotional move which has now, not surprisingly, been a little more expensive in these troubled economic times. To overcome the shortfall the Dodgers applied for some stimulus money from the federal government, but were initially turned down. However, when President Obama was told that the Dodger players were all union members, he said they could have whatever they wanted AND that the Caterpillar guy would give them or their families jobs if they want. "No Union member left behind!" said the president.

And finally, ESPN will cover a lot of baseball games this year, that is, as long as football doesn't interfere. Once football training camp starts in July there will be lots of coverage of football practice (Practice?), and some footage of Bret Favre crying and reports about the Manning brothers goofing around like real brothers or something, while their football playing dad says, "Boys, take it outside!"

Of course, they will still show the home runs and the fights.


Sarah and Lou

Not too many days ago, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced the results of its annual voting and named Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson to the Hall. I wrote about it then and paid Henderson a left-handed compliment by posting a picture of Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock, my boyhood idol and the man whose stolen base records Henderson broke.

What first caused me to follow Brock, I believe, is the similarities we shared. When I learned of him, I too, was a left-handed hitting left fielder. In left field, we both stood with our backs to the river - he the Mississippi and I the White, although it had been dammed to form Lake Taneycomo.

OK, the thing about the river just came to me.

Anyway, Brock was my guy. I learned to stand in the batter's box as he did, his uniform number, 20, became my favorite number, I collected his ball cards, and made pieces of art to honor this St. Louis ball player. With my portable cassette recorder stationed near a transistor radio I recorded Brock's 105th stolen base to break Maury Wills' season record. I recorded Brock's 893rd career steal to break Ty Cobb's lifetime mark. And I recorded Brock's career hits 2991 through 3000 as he joined the elite club of hitters to collect 3000 hits.

I drove the 4 1/2 hours to St. Louis for Lou Brock Day in 1979, his last year in the bigs. My '70 LTD stalled once in downtown traffic, but I got it started again. No problem. I was there to see Lou Brock. And I came home with a T-shirt given on that day that is too small for me now. My son has it. And all during these days I harbored the dream of being a baseball broadcaster or journalist and all these experiences would just be fodder for my future career.

So, if anyone had suggested 30 years ago that my daughter would meet Lou Brock before I did, well, I would have thought they were nuts!

But she did!


1040s Are For Other People

I don't recall ever seeing so many cabinet appointments blow up on the launch pad before. Obama has certainly brought change to Washington. And so many of the appointees are in trouble for failure to pay their taxes.


Is it just me or is it clear that the reason liberals don't have the slightest qualm about raising taxes is because they intend to dodge them?


The Word of God

I began a series of posts a while back based upon the definitions found in Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. That is to say, I posted one and haven't gotten back to it. It's time to fix that.

Chapter two is The Word of God, but Grudem does not really give a definition in a simple sentence. Rather he writes sections which flesh out several different meanings of the phrase. Here are the sections and sub-sections he lists:

A. "The Word of God" as a Person: Jesus Christ
B. "The Word of God" as Speech by God
1. God's Decrees
2. God's Words of Personal Address
3. God's Words as Speech Through Human Lips
4. God's Words in Written Form (the Bible)

Grudem then explains that, "the focus of our study in systematic theology is God's Word in written form, that is, the Bible. This is the form of God's Word that is available for study, for public inspection, for repeated examination, and as a basis for mutual discussion."



It Occurs To Me, Super Bowl Edition

The NFL title game, commonly known as the Super Bowl, will kick off in about 90 minutes. I have no idea who will win, but God does. In fact, He knows precisely who will win and what the score will be. In fact, it was ordered at the foundation of the world.

I listen to sports radio frequently and I've noticed something this week that goes on during other weeks before big games. As soon as the matchup is known, one team, in this case the Steelers, is immediately determined to be favored. A couple of days later, people begin talking about how the other team, in this case the Cardinals, could actually pull off the upset. A couple of days after that, all the talk is that the initial favored team probably will win, but anything could happen. And then what happens usually is the team favored at the beginning wins the game.

And today, I think Pittsburgh will win because I think they are a more complete, deeper squad. I'd like to see the Cardinals, and specifically, Kurt Warner win.

We'll have the Lord's Supper at church tonight and I'll go and hear the story of redemption again which is good for my soul. When I get home, another story, one about a football championship will be told me, the ending already in God's hand.

Though different stories and different values, I'll like them both.