Presidential Faith and Religion

Faith and Hope

The Republican candidates for the President have generated much discussion and press about faith and religion in the United States.  Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are evangelical Christians and wear their faith on their sleeve. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, and even though neither discusses his religion often, there are many evangelical Christians who bring out religion out as a reason to not vote for either of them.  Polls consistently show that many voters take into account the religion of a presidential candidate, and Mormons do not fare…

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Why the NATO Policy in Libya is Better than the BUSH Doctrine

I grew up in a place where we had enough land to raise a few animals. Raising animals is valuable because it teaches lessons of life and death. There were also object lessons of self-reliance and of care taking. We raised chickens and one of the most beautiful parts of that was watching a hen dutifully sit on her eggs until they would hatch into soft fuzzy chicks.  It was a momentous occasion to watch that little chick peck its way out of the shell. As a young child, my…

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The Economy is NOT a Bowl of Cherries

Economics is not a bowl of Cherries

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. – Theodore Rubin Too many people suffer disillusion in life because they expect life to be a bowl of cherries. There is much complaining these days about the rancor in politics. Usually those complaining loudest are those who believe they are losing the battle. If only the other side would compromise more to my position, if only they other guys hadn’t done such and such we wouldn’t be in…

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What race is President Obama?

Barack Obama mixed genetics

President Obama is often referred to as the first Black President, but for a man that is genetically half black and half white, he could be equally considered just another white man in a long line of other white men who have served as president. Obama is more than a black man, he is a man with a story as unique as many other contemporary Americans. His story is not one that can be easily categorized. He is neither black nor white, but he is a mix that is inclusive…

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Why is the Government in the Marriage business?

Marriage in front of a judge

One of the hottest topics in the last 10 years is that of so-called gay-marriage. Everybody knows you have to go to the local county government to get a valid marriage license, but why? The history of marriage is about property. Marriage was a way that kingdoms could unite, wealth could be shared and the offspring of men could be counted. Marriage today is less about uniting kingdoms or fortunes, and more about love and attraction, nevertheless, when that attraction dies, or the faithfulness to the institution deteriorates, it is…

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Knee-Jerk Reactionarianism

The Casey Anthony trial didn’t interest me a bit, until it was over. Better than the drama of the trial itself is listening to the knee-jerk reactionaries jump up and down in righteous indignation that justice has not prevailed. It just goes to show that most people don’t see much more of the justice system than what is served up by Hollywood and all their feel good endings. Real life is not wrapped up so cleanly. Let’s recap; a very public trial is televised, the prosecution fails to prove the…

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The Casey Anthony Trial: The role of a Jury

The close of the Casey Anthony trial with an acquittal on the most serious charge has brought gasps of disbelief by all the pundits and white middle class viewers that were just sure this mother was guilty. She may well be guilty, but according to the jury on her trial she is not-guilty. Chances are, she may even be innocent, but who knows. Frankly, I didn’t care a thing about the Casey Anthony trial and know very little about it except for the small excerpts that I listened to on…

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Why I Referee Soccer

Brian Hartwell - Soccer Referee

This subject is a little off the subject of most of this blog, but I often wish to write about my experiences as a soccer referee. This short piece explains some the of things I have learned on the soccer pitch. The book I most want to write would be titled along the lines of “How Refereeing Soccer Made Me a Better Leader”. Unlike star players or coaches, the referee is a most unlikely hero, unnoticed and invisible to most spectators until a mistake is made. Yet, like leaders of…

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Do You Have The Courage to Laugh at Yourself?

I believe one of the greatest indicators of a person’s grip on reality is their ability to laugh at themselves.  It shows you can view yourself as both imperfect and flawed, and that you have courage to find the humor in your flawed ways. It takes courage to admit you are wrong, but to laugh about that wrongness takes a special talent. I know a lot of people that are uptight about their positions on almost any issue. They judge all their interactions with people as zero-sum affairs. In order…

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Supporting Families in New York – Gay Marriage

Gay families are families too.

In a bold move to support families of all shapes and sizes, the New York State legislature recently joined Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Washington, D.C., in legally recognizing gay marriage. In our country, states issue marriage licenses in order to grant legal privileges, rights and responsibilities to a spouse in the interest of preserving family unity. Some of these rights include financial benefits in the form of tax incentives to hold the family together, tax free inheritance and social security benefits in the event of the death…

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