From whom shall I buy? Or not buy?

July 19, 2010

The subject of abortion is a lightening rod topic which may be among the most divisive.  It is a relatively simple matter in the sense that a middle ground on the subject barely exists.  One either takes the side of innocent human life and insists that abortion is immoral; or defends the notion that the rights of the mother to terminate a pregnancy transcends the human rights of that unborn child.  Apart from those who are vocal or mobilized advocates for one side or the other, I suppose that the subject remains largely a private, personal matter and one acts upon it, if at all, based on their own convictions.

Only occasionally does information become available that exposes people who you would generally assume to be well outside the debate, but who are in reality very much a part of the advocacy for one side or the other.  Such is the case with billionaire Warren Buffet, the head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

In an article in the New York Times Magazine, (starting on page 4 of this online version) it was disclosed that Buffet, contributed $3,000,000,000 (that’s three BILLION dollars) to a foundation in the name of his late wife, whose mission is to finance the training of medical students and doctors in abortion.  Furthermore, Buffet was credited by the Wall Street Journal as being the source of funding for the so-called abortion pill.  And the foundation was apparently a source of funding for the effort to overturn a partial birth abortion ban in Nebraska, where Buffet lives. 

So, the matter is apparently not a private, personal matter for Buffet, but should perhaps be better considered a “cause,” deserving not just his emotional support, but serious financial investment as well.

This revelation about Buffet is helpful to me.  It enables me to consider the kinds of decisions I make about the products I purchase, or choose not to purchase in the future, from companies that are under the corporate umbrella of Berkshire Hathaway.  If you are so motivated, here is a list of companies that are subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway.  I do not see a single one of them for which there is not a perfectly viable competitive alternative that might be more deserving of my consumer support.


Happy, happy Earth Day.

April 22, 2010

Today is one of the most significant days of any year, at least for some folks.  They are not the people I hang with.  But before you jump to the conclusion that I do not hold April 22nd in high regard, I do.  It is my mother-in-law’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Connie.  I love you.  

Apart from the birthday we celebrate in our family,  April 22nd is also the day when some people cast all caution to the wind and worship the created, in this case the planet Earth, often, I am afraid, with indifference to the ONE who created it.  And they have been doing so for 40 years, believe it or not.  This insanity is nothing new.   At best, some of these folks who go all out on Earth Day, do so because they think that the Creator is “in” everything, but theologians would call that pantheism, and boiled down to its essence, that is just idolatry.  C. Michael Patton has a great quote to help straighten out this confusion:

 “God is everywhere” gets dangerously close to pantheism that says God is present everywhere and in everything. God is transcendent to His creation, yet actively and relationally engaged.  Better to say “everywhere is in God’s immediate presence.”

Last year, I published a couple of posts dealing with Earth Day.  One dealt with things I did NOT do on Earth Day, the other was, well, a confession of those things that I did do that frankly had a deleterious impact on Earth.  This year, while the day is not over, and there is still time to do something of great harm to the planet, I have to say that I did do something nice for the Earth.

Today, I applied fertilizer to our yard.  AND I used a 100% organic granular product, that must surely be both NOT harmful to the planet, but also quite good for it.  At least that is what the “organic only” types would have us believe.   My usual preference is to use a chemical fertilizer because they are cheaper, they work just fine, and at the end of the day are made from naturally occurring elements.  You might be familiar with some of these.  Ever heard of nitrogen, or sulfur?  I digress.

I admit I am a bit conflicted by my “service” to the planet.  On the one hand I am feeling really good about my contribution to preserving my little corner of the globe.  But, every time you step outside, and every time the dogs come in the house from being in the yard, it smells like poultry crap, which is what the fertilizer was made from according to the bag it came in.  It is really a pretty awful smell.  The guys at the feed store where I bought it had a bit of a discussion about who was going to have to load it in the car.  And after applying it, the smell is stuck in my nose even when I am in the house.  A small price to pay, I suppose, for saving the planet.

You, your children, and  your children’s children are welcome.


President Obama = Shameless

January 17, 2010

President Obama, while speaking at a church in Washington D.C. this morning, declared the following, with respect to a headline grabbing current event:

It will be a victory for dignity and decency, and for our common humanity. It will be a victory for the United States of America.” (emphasis, mine)  Source:  Fox News.com

So, what is “It“?  When the President makes reference to “dignity” and “decency” and “common humanity,” one might assume he is referring to the overwhelming outpouring of concern for the people of Haiti, suffering through the earthquake that literally leveled their nation.  And that concern has been and still is being evidenced by the millions upon millions of dollars that have been donated to relief agencies and their efforts to address this human tragedy.

But NO!  The president is not talking about how Americans are digging into their own pockets to help people who they have never met and likely never will, who speak another language and who live hundreds of miles from the closest American city.  Instead, he is declaring that our “dignity” and “decency” and “common humanity” will be indicated by the extent to which a few hundred elected officials in Washington D.C. authorize the government to stick its hands in our pockets to fund the largest government take-over of a private market in our country’s history. 

To conclude that governmental redistribution of wealth is the indication of a people’s decency, rather than that same people’s voluntary benevolence, is the height of indecency

Mr. Obama, have you no shame?


Really?

October 26, 2009

On some level, this product makes me glad that I am not a golfer.  But for those of you who are, you should check this out and consider adding it to your bag.  It’s “the only club in your bag guaranteed to keep you out of the woods!”

Has anyone seen a man holding a golf club under a towel that is hanging from the front of his pants?  If you have, NOW you know what he was REALLY doing.

HT: my B-I-L, Matt


U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R, sorry…D-ME)

October 13, 2009

Olympia SnoweDisappointed?  Yes.  Surprised?  Not in the least.  The “honorable” senior (Republican in name only) senator from the State of Maine, has announced that she will vote (again) in alignment with the party that she does not caucus with, to pass the so-called Baucus Bill for health care reform.  

Apparently, the “distinguished” lady from Maine fell sway to the persuasion of President Barack Hussein Obama, who called her yesterday to convince her to vote (as usual) with her Democrat comrades, er, ah, colleagues.  Well done Senator.  That’s the way to put a thumb in the eye of the party that you claim to be a member of.

But at the end of the day, does ONE vote from a RINO really make it a bi-partisan bill?

UPDATE:  Senator Snowe now explains that she voted for the bill to “keep things moving.”  Huh?  The bill (with her vote) passed 14 to 9.  If my math is correct, the count WITHOUT her vote would have been 13 to 10.  I am thinking the bill MIGHT have passed and “kept moving” even without her lending her “bi-partisan support” to it.

PREDICTION:  The democrats will now talk about the bill receiving bi-partisan support (by virtue of Snowe’s ONE vote) and they’ll do so with a straight face.


Nonsense!

September 16, 2009

Former President Jimmy Carter, the man whose time in office people in his own party would like to forget, has surfaced again.  This time, he is making outrageous claims that even the White House has disavowed based on pure common sense, if not common decency.  You can listen to Carter’s absurd comments HERE (along with those of Brian Williams, who seems to think he got a great scoop with this interview, so good in fact that he aired at least this segment of the larger interview before its originally scheduled time).

The question I have for President Carter is this…if there is, as he insists some pervasive racist mindset in the country that holds that an African American is “not qualified to lead this great country”, how exactly did the current president get elected?

Does it make any sense whatsoever, that all of the “racists” in our country (who according to Carter now so numerous that they are jeopardizing the implementation of health care reform), would lay down their racist sentiments for the purpose of electing an African American to the presidency, and then take those sentiments up again when he begins to govern?  Nonsense!


A voice of reason in the health care debate.

September 6, 2009

Readers of JT’s blog  are already aware the subject of this post.  But for those who are not familiar with that blog, here is a LINK to an article in the September issue of The Atlantic Online.  It is written by a man named David Goldhill, who identifies himself as a Democrat and a business executive.  It is a long article; over 10,000 words and it will take you some time to go through it.  However, this is the most powerful and informative thing that I have seen yet on the broad subject of health care in the United States, and its institutionalized problems, that are in fact in need of reform.  As the writer of the article notes though, virtually nothing that is being discussed by Congress now, comes even close to fixing the fundamental problems with our health care system.

This article stands so far and above all of the other highly partisan/politicized rhetoric, that I emphatically encourage you to read this thing carefully.  My linking to it is not to suggest that I agree with all of his recommendations.  But his is the first voice of reason that I have heard among all of the other conversations about this very hot topic. 

Stand up and stretch, grab a cup of coffee and dig in.  You will be amazed.  At least I was.