This was written in response to a blog from a friend who voted for Obama and is now calling for America to not be a nation of blue or red states, but a nation of purple states.  I have added some extra thoughts at the end of it as well.

I agree that it is just a fact that we have a new president and need to deal with it. It just is easier said than done. I’ve spent most of the day thinking this over, and yes, I do respect the office of President, so yes, I will, to the best of my ability, try to respect the man who holds the office. He is, after all, my president now. He deserves my support (particularly when our country is dealing with any enemies that might want to bring us harm) and my prayers, and this is what he will receive.

But when I disagree with the man, which is sure to be often, I will be loud, and I will be vocal. There is nothing fair about people receiving aid from forced taxation on a particular segment of the population, regardless of how much money they make. In this country, we are promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The “pursuit” of happiness. Not guaranteed happiness. We are free to pursue, to chase after, success and well-being and financial peace, but none of that is promised to us. Maybe many people believe it should be, and that is why we are seeing a trend towards socialism and Marxism, but I still believe in a free, capitalistic, democratic republic. That is how our country was founded, and that, I believe, is how our country should remain. Karl Marx said, “Democracy is the road to socialism,” and it makes perfect sense to me that it will go that way, but I will disagree with it until the day I die. And I hope that people will continue to fight against it. Obama’s tax cuts may benefit me and others like me, but I am not poor, and I certainly do not deserve any money from others just because they make more than I do. You don’t either, and neither does anyone else who will be on the receiving end of the redistribution of wealth that is sure to come. I am never going to feel differently about this.

I also will never feel differently about the fact that abortion is murder and that by passing the Freedom of Choice Act (if Obama keeps his promise to Planned Parenthood), Obama will undo one of the very best things President Bush did during his time in office (with the partial-birth abortion ban). It saddens me beyond belief to think that we are just one or two Supreme Court justices away from being able to do something about Roe v. Wade and will maybe have that chance taken away if any conservative justices die or retire during Obama’s term, but it saddens me to a much greater extent to know that we live in a country that will not, as a whole, come together to protect the most helpless and most vulnerable beings among us. Maybe that is because many (or most?) people do not view the unborn as living human beings, but as it is my belief that life begins at conception, I hope you can understand my point of view on this. Each year, many more Americans are killed through abortion than through starvation due to not being able to afford food. People may be in hard times, and I do believe we should help them (Jesus commanded this), but I believe preserving life, as that was one of the things promised to us in the beginning of this country (as it is a gift from our Creator), should take precedence over any other issue or effort.

I hope, to some extent we can again become purple states. I really do. But it is a little hard to hear that right now from someone who wanted Obama to win so badly … particularly since pretty much everyone who wanted Obama to win so badly could not bring themselves to help us be purple states prior to this. The “come together” message, if meant, should have been something people were urging because they feel it is the right thing to do, regardless of who is in office … not because their party has finally taken control of the country.

If unity is to occur, I think, at this point, the initiative is going to have to come from the conservatives of this country. Any calls for unity from those who have done nothing but deride and lambaste our President for the last eight years is going to sound like nails on a chalkboard to conservatives for now. I have not always agreed with the man, and he has not been nearly as conservative as I would have liked him to be (regarding size of government and government staying out of our affairs), but Bush was OUR President too, whether we always agreed with him or not. And, regardless of what the majority believes, he has done a lot of good things for our nation as well.  Please understand that unity may not come quickly or as fully as you would like, but that I, for one, will try to do this. We are all Americans … just like we were all Americans right after September 11th. I wish we could have stayed that way then, but maybe, somehow, we can find that kind of unity again (though that’s not to say we will necessarily ever be accepting of ideas with which we don’t agree). In addition to praying for President-Elect Obama, this is also something for which I will be praying.

And I will also be praying for our nation to turn to God again.  Unity at the expense of righteousness will never succeed.  And please understand that I do not mean that our country has instantly turned away from God BECAUSE we elected Obama.  But I do believe that for many years now—decades, even—our country has been turning further and further from God, even as more and more people claim to be Christians.  And I think, as a nation, we’ve been collectively seeing the effect of God withdrawing His hand from us.  This is the pattern seen all throughtout the Bible.  As the nation of Israel turned away from God, He withdrew His blessings from them and even let them suffer.  When they turned to God, His blessings returned.  That is not to say we can manipulate God’s blessings, but it is to say that He blesses those whom He chooses to bless, and the Bible makes it pretty clear that, in most cases, He blesses those who seek Him and follow His ways.  This is all kind of an aside note because I do not believe God supports Republicans or Democrats or Libertarians or any other party, but I do believe that God cares about our direction as a nation, particularly since we still flippantly refer to ourselves as a “nation under God.”  Under God’s omniscient eye, yes.  But under God’s blessing for our nation, as a whole?  I don’t think we’ve completely lost it, but I think we’re headed that way.

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Before I begin, I want to be up front about the fact that I did not come up with this comparison on my own, but I want to try to share it with you in my own words.

First, a few questions:

  1. Do you believe that slavery is OK?
  2. Would you ever consider voting for a candidate who did believe that slavery was OK, whether or not he or she could actually bring it back as a source of labor in this country, if that candidate also proposed and could provide  an amazing healthcare plan, an amazing tax plan, or an abundance of new jobs?  Why or why not?
  3. Would you be willing to have a better health plan, pay lower taxes, or have a better job if it meant that certain other people would have to become slaves?
  4. Do you believe that life begins at conception?
  5. Do you believe that abortion is OK?
  6. Would you ever consider voting for a candidate who did believe that abortion was OK, knowing that he or she could definitely eliminate all restrictions on abortions, if that candidate also proposed and could provide an amazing healthcare plan, an amazing tax plan, or an abundance of new jobs?  Why or why not?
  7. Would you be willing to have a better health plan, pay lower taxes, or have a better job if it meant that even more babies were going to be exposed to abortion procedures, including now-forbidden partial birth abortions?

Now, I don’t know for sure how you answered these questions, but my guess is that MOST people would absolutely be appalled at the idea of any candidate who approves of slavery and would want to bring it back.  Well, there are plenty of people out there (and you might be one of them) who believe that abortion is wrong but are willing to vote for a candidate proposing to overturn all restrictions on abortion because they have decided they will not be one-issue voters.  They generally approve of his stance on the other issues and are willing to overlook the abortion issue.

If you believe that life begins at conception, there can be no greater issue for you.  We are talking about human life here … more specifically, the termination of human life on a grand scale.  Murder, to put it more bluntly.  At least that’s what it is if you really believe life begins at conception.

I used to be one of those voters who decided that if the abortion issue was the only problem I had with a candidate, maybe I wasn’t being fair by not considering all of the other issues at hand in the election.

I can’t view it like that any longer.  I could never approve of slavery, and I, most certainly, could never approve of abortion.  And Barack Obama has said that the very first thing he’ll do upon taking office is to pass the Freedom of Choice Act.  This would effectively remove all restrictions on abortions … even the graphically violent partial-birth abortions.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I think Obama’s ideas on the rest of the issues are correct.  I don’t think they are, and I think he is wrong on just about everything.  But I know many of you do believe he is right on many things.  That is fair.  But I REALLY want you to consider this ONE issue—the issue of life—and I want you to consider whether you can vote for a person whose moral conscience does not tell him that abortion is wrong … that the taking of a human life is wrong.

Please.  Consider it.

To begin their article titled Powell endorses Obama on Politico.com, Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin write, “Retired Gen. Colin L. Powell, one of the country’s most respected Republicans, stunned both parties Sunday by strongly endorsing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ and laying out a blistering, detailed critique of the modern GOP.”

I’m not sure why they think so many people were stunned by this endorsement.  He has been praising Obama since at least early summer, so this, to me, just seemed like the voicing of the inevitable.  I think most people who pay attention to political news saw this coming from a mile away.  I could be wrong, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I haven’t heard anybody besides the writers of this article talk about this as if it was a big surprise.

What surprised me a little bit was his reasoning for endorsing Obama.  I have always respected Powell and thought that he was really a stand-up guy who really believed in conservatism and the ideals of the Republican Party (not to be confused with where the Republican Party is today), so I was shocked when I saw that the reasons he gave for endorsing Obama contained almost no substance whatsoever.  According to the article, he said the election of Obama would “electrify the world” and that Obama “is a transformational figure” and “a new generation coming … onto the world stage and on the American stage.”  He then said that this is why he was endorsing Obama.  He also said:

And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities — and you have to take that into account — as well as his substance — he has both style and substance, he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.

I’m not sure what substance he is talking about, but Obama definitely has rhetorical abilities.  He can talk and talk and talk.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t ever seem to tell us how he’s going to accomplish anything.  That Powell was drawn in by this rhetoric really disappoints me.

He also said that he thinks John McCain made the wrong decision in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate and that he doesn’t feel she is ready to become the president.  He doesn’t feel she is experienced enough; yet, he is fine with Obama being president.  Something is just not right with that picture.  Powell has said that his endorsement has nothing to do with race, but I think Rush Limbaugh might have been on to something when he said:

Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race.  OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

The fact of the matter is that Obama, in many ways, has even less experience than Palin.  He does not know what it is like to be the Commander-In-Chief of anything; she, on the other hand, has been the governor of a state, which is an executive branch position.  Each of them has different types of experience, but to discredit Palin while endorsing Obama reeks of hypocrisy.  I seriously doubt anybody who becomes a president for the first time is fully prepared for the job upon assuming the office.  If the issue is Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience, then I guess we should have dismissed Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, as well.

Finally, in what is perhaps the most disappointing statement made by Powell on Meet the Press, he said, “I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that’s what we’d be looking at in a McCain administration.”  Seriously?  Was he ever a conservative?  I really wonder why he wanted to be a member of the Republican Party in the first place.  I’ve heard some people say that his endorsement of Obama is a way for him to protect his legacy after the association he had with the Bush administration.  Powell was the one who delivered, in detail, the information on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  He made the case for why we needed to go in there, and now he feels like he was used as scapegoat to get us into the war, since we did not end up finding the weapons that he said were there.  I think he feels betrayed by the Bush administration, and he feels like his reputation was greatly harmed in the process.  So by endorsing Obama, who is largely believed to be unstoppable in his quest to make history as the nation’s first black president, I believe Powell sees an opportunity for a kind of redemption.  If Obama wins, he will forever be associated with his endorsement for Obama, and a large number of people will once again look upon him favorably.  But the fact that he has so abandoned the Republican Party, to the point of not wanting more Republicans on the Supreme Court (which is something that pretty much EVERY Republican wants), is really a shame.  I just don’t know what has happened to him.

Maybe I was duped.  I’ve heard people say he wasn’t ever very conservative, and if that is the case, I was, in fact, mistaken about him all along.  I, along with many other people, really wanted him to run for president in 2000, but he claimed he wasn’t interested.  All things considered, if he really isn’t conservative, I guess that was for the best after all.

So now he can put on his blue coat and ride in upon the donkey as his decision to endorse Obama is celebrated by Democrats far and  wide.  If Obama wins, I think he probably will be looked upon favorably by a large number of people in this country, so, to that end, maybe he will be happy.  But when our country turns to socialism, the economy starts to falter, and our Constitution is largely ignored or interpreted as a “living document,” I hope he at least takes the time to reflect upon what this movement he has now joined is really all about.

Ohio secretary of state must verify registrations

Thank goodness SOMEBODY finally did the right thing in Ohio.  Terry Kinney of the Associated Press writes:

“Plaintiffs assert, and the court agrees, that it is hard to imagine a public interest more compelling than safeguarding the legitimacy of the election of the president of the United States,” [U.S. District Judge George C.] Smith wrote in his ruling.

Brunner also was ordered to establish a process by which Ohio’s 88 county election boards can access information generated by the checks.

Residents registering to vote must provide their name, address, date of birth and either their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

But Ohio’s Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is still trying to weasel around this:

Brunner has said the state matches registration information against data in the Bureau of Motor Vehicles system and the Social Security database. But she also has said federal law doesn’t say what should be done if a mismatch is discovered, and it is up to counties to check the system for flagged registrations and investigate if warranted.

So there will be no state-enforced investigations into mismatches.  By saying that the federal government doesn’t indicate what to do in cases of mismatches, it sounds to me as if she is saying she found a loophole that will allow her to still do whatever she wants in the cases of actual voter fraud.  It should be common sense that if a mismatch occurs, that means something is wrong.  Brunner seems to be playing coy, and it seems like she is willing to play dumb if confronted about not dealing with the situation (e.g. “Oh, was that supposed to matter?  I didn’t realize anything was wrong, and I was never instructed to do anything in the case of a mismatch.”)

Hopefully, state Republicans will continue to pursue this matter and will not allow this to happen.  If it is up to the individual counties to decide what to do with mismatches, then I hope Republicans get out there and make sure they are working at the polling centers and paying attention to what is going on.

Ohio is an important state, a swing state.  If it legitimately goes to Obama, that’s fine.  But those who would use underhanded methods to help secure his victory must not be allowed to succeed.

Tuesday night, I went and stood outside of the Curb Event Center at Belmont University to see if I could catch a glimpse of John McCain, Barack Obama, or anyone else with some degree of fame who might be attending the debate.  Upon my arrival on the scene, I was dismayed by the overwhelming number of Obama supporters marching around with their T-shirts, signs, stickers,  and baked goods (being sold with profits going toward Obama’s campaign).  There were also at least three different booths set up in very close proximity to one another, and while I expected at least one of them to be selling McCain T-shirts and other paraphernalia, that wasn’t the case.  They were all for Obama as well.  And that’s OK, albeit a bit disappointing.  I mean, the enthusiasm for Obama seemed a little maniacal at times (it kind of reminded me of the scene from the movie Independence Day where all of the new age zealots gather in the desert to await the arrival of the aliens like it is some kind of second coming—Obamessiah, anyone?), but I guess some of that is to be expected at times.  For the most part, though excited and sometimes boisterous, the people were respectful and did not do anything that might mar Obama’s image.

Excepting myself and my significant other, I saw maybe about ten to twelve people who seemed to be for McCain.  The McCain supporters were rather subdued and probably just felt a little overwhelmed in that sea of Obama supporters.

Then came those in favor of third parties the crazies.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m in favor of people considering third parties.  I, myself, am very interested in the campaign for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party (though I still haven’t made up my mind how I will vote on November 4th), but being for a third party candidate does not mean you have to act like a lunatic.  Now, it is anyone’s right to act like a lunatic and say whatever he / she wants to say, but I just don’t think doing so accomplishes very much in the way of winning people to a certain cause.  If anything, I think it turns people off.

The Green Party people came along dressed in green hardhats and various other kinds of green attire.  Many wore green T-shirts, but at least one or two guys were shirtless and with only a green cape flowing behind them.  They also had various accessories with them, such as pots and pans, but I do not really know the purpose for these items as I didn’t really see them getting used very much.  The greenies marched around back and forth behind us, chanting and yelling out various slogans, sometimes all of them in unison in a militant kind of way.  Looked a little crazy, but they were relatively tame.  Still, appearing crazy usually isn’t a great way to win people to one’s cause.

A little while after the Green Party entered the scene, a group, seemingly formed in support of all third-party candidates, came marching onto the scene.  They weren’t wearing any kind of a uniform like the Green Party people, but they were much louder, more rambunctious, and on the scene in much larger numbers.  The ringleader pulled out a megaphone and for the next hour and a half or so, he proceeded to very loudly denounce the two-party system and to rail against both of the candidates involved in it.  In a different setting, with people willing to listen to his points, such a thing might not be so bad as there is no harm in trying to change people’s minds.  But the sheer mania and obnoxious tone behind his ranting could not have been anything but a major annoyance to everyone who could hear him.  I am in favor of considering third-party candidates, but I could not not help but wish that the police (who were on the scene en masse at times) would either come and haul him off or at least shoot a little tear gas into the crowd (yes, I would have been hit too, but for the sake of shutting that loudmouth on the megaphone down, I think I would have been willing to take one for the team).

To make matters worse, this group wasn’t just promoting third-party candidates.  In addition to ineffectively promoting the third-party candidates and denouncing the two-party system, a number of the people in this group were also yelling about how our government was directly responsible for causing the 9/11 attacks.  It was at this point that I lost any respect I may have had left for what these people were trying to accomplish.  People are free to believe what they want to believe, but conspiracy theorism usually just makes them look crazy to the general public.  I’ve seen the videos telling about how 9/11 was an inside job, and while they are put together to weave a convincing tale that would make Michael Moore proud, I just don’t buy it.  I don’t believe most Americans buy it.  The people that do believe this almost always are the one who think President Bush is an imbecile, and yet they also believe that he was the mastermind behind the worst attack on the U.S. mainland in our nation’s history.  And of all of the many people who would have to be involved in such a conspiracy, I don’t believe it could be kept a secret for very long.

Then, from this same group, there were the chants of, “ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR—WE DON’T NEED YOUR F%#%ING WAR!”  It continued on to a “FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT” section, but I can’t remember how that one went.  They repeated it over and over again, and when a couple of people asked them to tone it down because they had their kids with them, the group just decided to yell even louder—to the point that you could hear the rasping strain in some of their voices as they were actually yelling as loudly as they could.

Maybe this approach actually works on some people, but I really do not believe it works on the vast majority of people.  At this particular gathering, it really just seemed like virtually all of the people in the crowd to whom they were preaching were completely annoyed by them.  One young Obama supporter couldn’t help but yell back at them about the greatness of Obama every time they would make some kind of a claim about how the two-party system is running our country into the ground, but for the most part the group was not directly confronted.

The third-party movement is a good thing, but radicalism is not the way to move it forward.  While he was still contending for the Republican nomination during the primary process, Ron Paul pleaded with his supporters to be respectful and not do anything that would make him or the cause which he represents to look bad.  Unfortunately, I’m guessing the same people that disregarded his call for respectful representation of the Ron Paul Revolution are the ones now drawing attention to their radical displays of anger toward and rebellion against the two-party system.

It is OK to be angry.  It is OK to stand up against the establishment.  But acting out in a radical fashion in the middle of a public gathering likely isn’t going to do anything but get a crowd riled up, unless those in that crowd are of the same belief as you.  And even then, the radicalism itself could be a turn off (as it was for me).

As Susan Powter used to always say, “STOP THE INSANITY!”

Talk to people.  Don’t yell at them and act crazy.

All in all, as ridiculous and nettlesome as all of it was at times, it was definitely an experience, and one in which I’m glad I was able to participate.  It’s not every day that a presidential debate takes place in one’s city of residence (well, at least, not in mine), so to witness much of what goes along with such an event was definitely interesting.

Oh, and I never did see McCain or Obama.  They must have gone in another entrance (can’t imagine why, what with the crowd’s behavior—I’m still surprised we didn’t get teargassed).  We did catch a glimpse of Nashville’s mayor Karl Dean, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill rolling up for the event, however.

What a wretched excuse for a debate last night.  Neither candidate really said anything worthwhile in what could possibly be the most boring presidential debate I’ve ever seen.

All things considered, I think McCain probably lost this debate.  While neither candidate really gave us anything to make us feel good about how they can make America better, it was McCain who had the more urgent need to really stand out.  He is down in the polls and needed to make up some ground.  Based on his performance last night, I doubt that will happen.  He was too laid back, and he didn’t go after Obama when he needed to.  By not clearly winning this debate, I think he lost.

In addition to all of that, McCain also proposed a $300 billion plan to force the federal government to buy all of the bad mortgages in this country and allow financially troubled homeowners to keep their homes.  So instead of admitting he made a mistake by voting for the $700 billion bailout plan, he wants to spend MORE taxpayer money to pay for people’s bad choices.  Unbelievable.  I wish he would stop calling himself a maverick and actually BE a maverick.  The Republicans are on par with the Democrats in the wasteful spending category now.  The maverick thing to do would be to return to conservative ideals by getting the government out of our lives and wallets.

McCain’s handlers better get a grip and tell him he needs to actively go after Obama if he wants to win this election.  If he is as passive during the third and final debate as he was in the one last night, it’s over.  He also needs to care more about what matters to his conservative base.

I’m still conflicted.  I’m less enthusiastic about McCain now than I was before the debate.  That new $300 billion plan really made me angry.  But I still see him as the best chance for keeping Obama out of office so that we can at least avoid all-out socialism.  And I still like Palin and wish I could vote for her instead of McCain.

I just wish she could consistently pronounce the word “nuclear.”

(UPDATE: According to Michelle Malkin’s blog, the $300 billion proposal is part of the $700 billion proposal.  Not that that soothes my soul any.  It’s still, as she calls it, a “crap sandwich.”  I recommend you read the whole blog, as it is good information.

Also, as promised in one of my comments on this blog, I have the information showing how McCain’s proposal isn’t exactly original except for the fact that he put an actual price tag on it.  He said that it is not Obama’s or Bush’s idea—it is his idea.  If you read to the end of this AP article, however, it says:

In fact, at a news conference on Sept. 24, Obama said, “we should consider giving the government the authority to purchase mortgages directly instead of simply purchasing mortgage-backed securities.”

Days later, in a news release, he said he would “encourage Treasury to study the option of buying individual mortgages like we did successfully in the 1930s.”

“Senator Obama has been consistently calling for policies that would buy up mortgages and restructure them so that families can stay in their houses,” Obama economic adviser Jason Furman said. “He continues to support that and believes Treasury should use its authority in whatever way it can to bring about that goal, including buying mortgages directly.”

Welcome to the Republicrat / Democlican party.)

Ohio has been in the news lately, and it isn’t just because it has two of the worst teams in the NFL right now.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has interepreted an election rule so that people can now register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day without any proof of residence or other forms of eligibility.  Is this really a good idea?

That’s a rhetorical question.

Allowing people to vote without having proof of their eligibility to do so just opens the door to all kinds of potential voter fraud.  Republicans in Ohio are saying that because there is not enough time to verify the eligibility of all of the voters, the Democrats (who are the ones using this rule to go out and register and collect the votes from as many people as possible) are opening up the entire process to election fraud.

Just today, this article from the New York Post shows how Democrats are taking advantage of this situation.  They are driving homeless people to poll centers to register them to vote and cast their ballots for Obama.  Here’s my problem with this issue.  Many homeless people are mentally ill.  Many are felons. Many are just hungry and/or in need of some attention.

First of all, I don’t think the mentally ill are in a place where they can make an informed decision, and felons are not legally allowed to vote.  But what irks me the most is thinking about how Democrats might just be going and making all kinds of promises to those who are just hungry or needing some attention, being friendly to them and telling them that they should vote for Obama. Are they offering them food in exchange for a vote for Obama?  Is the drive alone, riding with someone whom they are made to believe cares for them, enough incentive to go along and cast a vote for Obama?  And, again, even if you don’t see a problem with that, we still don’t know about their eligibility.

After telling us about one homeless gentleman by the name of William Woods that was driven to the poll center to vote, the article states:

“I never voted before,” Woods said, because of a felony conviction that previously barred him from the polls. “Without this service, I would have had no way to get here.”

He would have had no way to get there?  That’s the big problem presented here?  Nobody bothered to stop him based on the felony conviction?  He seems to understand that he was barred from the poll because of his felony conviction, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem casting a vote if urged to do so.

One of the people who commented on this article had something interesting to say about some others that supporters of Obama are going after:

I have a family member living in a Santa Fe, New Mexico group home – they’re taking the retarded residents down to vote for Obama. This family member tells me that the staff is being forceful – saying that they must vote for Obama… This scares them and they don’t want to vote for anyone.

Now, I don’t have any proof of this, so don’t just accept it as fact, but someone should look into this.  If this is true, it would be the most despicable act yet.

(UPDATE: One of the commenters on this blog pointed out that felons aren’t necessarily banned for life from voting.  I have done some research and found this information to be correct.  According to this article, Ohio is one of the states that allows felons to re-register to vote once they are released from prison.  Fair enough.  I stand corrected.)

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