Archive for December, 2008
I’m enjoying another day or two of ‘vacation’ then I will be back to full speed around here. While you wait, why not look at how we’re enjoying our afternoons.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
In September of 1897, a young girl from New York asked the most serious of questions.
“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
“115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.”
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Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Lockerbie Air Disaster where Pan Am Flight #103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. A total of 270 people died in the attack. There were 259 victims on the plane and 11 on the ground.
In the 20 years that have passed since I heard the news about the bombing, none of the stories about the aftermath of the crash have struck me as hard as the following clip from Wikipedia.
Five members of the Dixit family, including three year old Suruchi Rattan, were flying to Detroit from New Delhi. They were supposed to be on Flight 67, which had left Frankfurt earlier in the day, but one of the children had fallen ill with breathing difficulties, and the pilot had taken the unusual step of bringing the plane back to the gate to allow the family to disembark. The boy soon recovered, and the family was transferred to PA 103 instead.
Suruchi was wearing a bright red kurta and salwar for her journey — a knee length tunic and matching pants — and she became forever associated with a note left with flowers outside Lockerbie town hall:
“To the little girl in the red dress who lies here who made my flight from Frankfurt such fun. You didn’t deserve this. God Bless, Chas.”
God Bless all of the victims that died on that cold December morning in 1988.
I love trains, I always have. I don’t know what it is about them, but when I see a train passing through town I can’t help but stop what I am doing to watch it go by. Along with my love for watching trains, I also enjoy working on model railroads. Thanks to my father I have a rather large assortment of trains and accessories that I enjoy working with my kids on the weekends.
Our oldest son was born with the same passion for trains and has a couple model railroads of his own. While working on the family genealogy I found out that two of my grandfathers and one great-grandfather all worked for the railroad in their day. I guess you could say the love of trains is in our genes.
I guess it is only natural that I might start taking videos of trains as they passed through our town.
President-elect Barack Obama told us that none of the members of his staff had any contact with Illinois Gov. Blagojevich regarding the selling of his U.S. Senate seat. He told us that he launched an internal investigation and he re-assured us that nothing inappropriate occurred.
How many times does Rahm Emanuel have to speak to the governor before Barack Obama admits his Chief of Staff did, in fact, speak to the governor, and even urged the governor to choose Mr. Obama’s pick for the job?
Mr. Emanuel submitted a list of names to the governor. The list included the names of candidates Mr. Obama found suitable for the job.
There are reports that Mr. Emanuel had 21 different conversations with the governor or his staff.
None of these facts prove that any wrongdoing took place, but you have to wonder why Mr. Obama’s chief of staff contacted the governor more than 20 times within a month. You have to wonder why a list of “suitable” replacements was supplied by Mr. Obama’s staff. You have to wonder whether Mr. Obama was lying when he said he was confident that none of the members of his staff had contacted Gov. Blagojevich.
It’s apparent something was discussed. It’s pretty clear that some sort of deal was being discussed, or at the very least, implied. While some prominent members of the Republican party are telling people to back off and leave Mr. Obama alone, I think it’s high time that our President-elect starts explaining the actions and circumstances that led to those 21 conversations.
And don’t you skeptics worry. Rahm Emanuel is not the only Obama appointee that has strong ties to Gov. Blagojevich. It seems Mr. Obama’s choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, “forgot” about his connection to the governor.
Eric Holder and the governor held a news conference together in 2004 where Mr. Blagojvich announced Mr. Holder’s role as a special investigator. This information was left out of a 47-page response to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Whether or not anyone on Mr. Obama’s staff participated in Gov. Blagojevich’s scheme, it seems some of them have ties so deep it probably won’t even matter.
For the past year, Barack Obama promised to bring change to Washington, D.C. He promised to bring hope to American families across the country. He inspired people to turn out on election day and it worked. The majority of citizens in the United States believed him and they elected him the 44th President of the United States. Now, after one of the most prolonged and vicious election cycles in our nation’s history, people’s eyes are beginning to open, albeit a tad bit late.
When the news broke that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was trying to “make a deal” or sell Barack Obama’s soon to be vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder, Mr. Obama re-assured the American people that he had nothing to do with the scandal that was unfolding in Chicago. He said he was absolutely certain that no one close to him was involved in the alleged plot by the governor.
Mainstream media was quick to jump on the Blagojevich story, bringing all of that Chicago corruption to the forefront and into the living rooms of millions of American families.
When it comes to the media, there is nothing as juicy as a scandal, especially when corrupt Chicago politicians are involved, and they just couldn’t wait to get people’s minds off of the economy, the possibility of an automaker bailout, and the constant reminders that our nation was in the midst of a deep recession.
They turned all of their attention to the developing scandal, but they never banked on the possibility that their chosen one, Barack Obama, just might not be telling the truth.
The men who have served as President of the United States worked hard to establish a legacy for themselves during their time in office. Whether they are remembered as one of our best presidents or one of the worst, I bet you can recall more information about their accomplishments and failures while they were serving in the Oval Office than anything they did after they left it.
We all remember what Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton did while they were in office, but can you recall what Lyndon B. Johnson did after leaving the White House? What about Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, or George H. W. Bush? The truth is, very few former presidents are remembered for their works after leaving the presidency.
The exception to that rule is Jimmy Carter.
It’s no secret that Jimmy Carter is not your average former U.S. President, that point should be obvious because he wasn’t your average U.S. President at the time he was elected either. While few people can recall anything he did while serving as president, he is dead set to make sure we all remember exactly what he did after leaving the White House, and I am not talking about his work with Habitat for Humanity.
Mr. Carter has gone out of his way to make sure the writers of history remember him as an ambassador to the entire world and a friend to terrorists everywhere.