Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Death of Common Sense

This was written by Lori Borgman (

Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.

His obituary reads as follows: Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering. Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S.

A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet. C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice). A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men's movement, body piercing, whole language and new math.

C.S.'s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus. In the following decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf.

His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure. As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags.

Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last. Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery.

C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit. Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought. Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Diary of an Unborn Child

Today my life began. My parents do not know it yet, I am as small as a seed of an apple, but it is I already. And I am to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled though, even the fact that I shall love flowers.

Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet truly bread. My mother is. And I am.

My mouth is just beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later talking. I know what my first word will be: "MAMA."

My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! And after many years it will tire. It will stop, and then I shall die.

I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time yet before those little legs will raise me to my mother's arms, before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my father.

Tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small they are! I'll be able to stroke my mother's hair with them.

It wasn't until today that the doctor told mom that I am living here under her heart. Oh, how happy she must be! Are you happy, mom?

My mom and dad are probably thinking about a name for me. But they don't even know that I am a little girl. I want to be called Kathy. I am getting so big already.

My hair is growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny. I wonder what kind of hair mom has.

I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be full of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything is to see my mom. How do you look, mom?

I wonder if mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into the world a little sick. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats so evenly: tup-tup, tup-tup. You'll have a healthy little daughter, mom!

Today my mother killed me.

-Author unknown

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Please Pray For Pastor Greg Laurie

I listen to Pastor Greg Laurie in the morning on the radio. His sermons and books have been a blessing to me and thousands of others. This week, Pastor Laurie's son was tragically killed in a car accident. Please pray for the Laurie family during this time of grief. Below are two articles I encourage everyone to read.

Good Articles To Read

I ran across some good reading scanning the net. Here are some of the articles I found interesting.

Foxx Co-Sponsers American Energy Act

The following is from a press release from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

Foxx co-sponsors groundbreaking American Energy Act
Legislation increases energy supply, improves conservation, promotes new energy technology

Washington, DC—Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) today joined House Republicans in introducing a comprehensive energy bill to reduce the price of gas. The legislation, the American Energy Act, aims to increase the supply of American-made energy, improve conservation efforts, and promote new technology that will help bring down the cost of gas.

“High gas prices are hitting North Carolinians hard and we must take bold action to wean America off foreign sources of oil,” Foxx said. “This legislation offers a broad set of solutions, with everything from new drilling to new investment in the fuels of the future.”

The American Energy Act tackles high gas prices in three key areas: increasing supply, reducing demand and investing in alternative energy sources.

It increases supply by opening deep water resources, the Arctic coastal plain and shale oil resources and by reducing the bureaucratic hurdles blocking construction of new refineries. It is estimated that these sources hold the potential to provide an additional 6.5 million barrels of oil per day.

The legislation aims to reduce American demand for oil by improving energy conservation and efficiency. It provides tax credits for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles, home-based solar power and biomass, energy efficient buildings, and energy efficient appliances. The American Energy Act also offers a cash prize for the development of the first mass-produced car that gets 100 miles-per-gallon.

By way of promoting renewable and alternative energy, the American Energy Act creates a renewable energy trust fund with federal revenues from deep sea and Arctic coastal plain oil exploration. Additionally, it repeals the “Section 526” prohibition on government purchasing of alternative energy and promoting coal-to-liquids technology. It also makes the expiring tax credit for alternative energy production—including wind, solar and hydrogen—permanent.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reagan Article Worth Reading

I found a good article entitled "God Bless Ronald Reagan." Here's a brief excerpt:

"Ronald Regan showed us it was still possible to believe in America. He did not agree that our best days were behind us at all. He dared to believe our best days still lay ahead of us, instead of buried in the past. And he not only believed, he inspired the rest of America to believe along with him."

Take a few moments and read the entire article here.

McCain/Obama on Patriotism

Parade Magazine published articles by both candidates on their views on patriotism. You can read the article here.

According to an online poll, most readers found McCain's view of patriotism closer to their own views than Obama's.

I read both articles and would have to agree.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Nation Of Whiners?

Are we a nation of whiners? To some degree I would have to say yes. Unfortunately there is far too much whining about our problems and not enough efforts to solve them. I believe very strongly in the ability of our nation to overcome any problem that we face but in the last few years it seems we are wanting to be more a nation of victims and not problem solvers.

I believe part of the problem comes from the constant barrage of bad news fed to us on TV and in print. Watch the news one night and you'll be convinced that our nation has seen it's best days, the economy will never improve, you'll probably get food poisoning from eating a tomato, you won't be able to sell or buy a house, and so on. I know - bad news sells papers and gets air time. But we don't have to read it, watch it or listen to it. We need to take a vacation from what the media is feeding us - food poisoning for the spirit. We need to go on a diet from the bad news for a few days. Try it and see if your outlook on life improves! Don't call me Pollyanna - I'm not trying to live in an alternate reality, I know things are tough. However, we can't buy into all the gloom and doom.

It's easy to be a victim, you just don't do anything! Our founding fathers weren't victims, they went into action. Today we don't have to be victims, we can get involved in the process of improving our nation. Call your elected officials and ask that they take action on the issues that are important to you. Start a petition or write a blog, send a letter to the editor of your paper. Do something besides soak in the opinions of the nay sayers and prophets of doom.

America, we can turn things around but it will take back bone, not wish bone! Get involved and get active - do it now!

Foxx Statement On Lifting Offshore Drilling Ban

The following is from a press release from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx

Rep. Virginia Foxx statement on lifting of offshore drilling ban

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx released the following statement today after President Bush lifted the executive order that banned offshore oil drilling:

“With the elimination of the executive ban on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf it is now up to Congress to give coastal states the ability to develop new sources of domestic energy. Until Congress lifts its ban on drilling, billions of barrels of American oil remain under lock and key.

“Increasing our domestic supply of oil will help reduce the cost of gas, signaling America’s willingness to develop American-made energy. New deepwater drilling is a critical part of a comprehensive approach to bringing down the cost of gas and ending America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East.

“Congress must act now to lift the congressional ban on offshore drilling and show hard-working Americans that we are serious about easing the pain at the pump. We must pursue an “all of the above” energy strategy that taps into both American innovation and American sources of energy, from domestic oil in northern Alaska to solar power in the southwest and everything in between.”

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Senate - A View From 1787

"As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them."-- Tench Coxe (An American Citizen, No.2, 28 September 1787)

McCain's Economic Plan

The following is from an email from John McCain.

John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation's energy security, get the government's budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers.

On Monday at a town hall in Denver, John McCain laid out his 'Jobs for America' plan to grow our economy and create jobs. Our chief economic policy advisor, Doug Holtz-Eakin, and his team put together a special online briefing detailing the plan. Click here to watch it and learn more.

Unlike Senator Barack Obama, John McCain has a plan to create millions of good jobs for hard-working Americans, to ensure our nation's energy security, and to stop out-of-control government spending in order to regain the trust of American taxpayers. Please watch this economic briefing today.

Foxx Pushes For Coal-To-Liquid Bill

The following is a press release from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

Foxx presses Congress to vote on coal-to-liquid bill
Signs ‘discharge petition’ to bring legislation up for debate

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Virginia Foxx today called on Congress to bring coal-to-liquid legislation to the House floor for a vote. She pressed members of the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle to allow debate on a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2208) that creates incentives for the production of diesel fuel from coal.

“America has a 250 year supply of coal,” Foxx said. “We should be doing all we can to find a way to transform this abundant energy resource into clean burning diesel. This legislation will jumpstart the debate on coal-to-liquid technology and would encourage new investment in a promising source of American-made energy.”

Foxx today joined more than 100 members of the House of Representatives who signed onto a measure called a discharge petition that would bring the Coal Liquid Fuel Act (H.R. 2208) up for a vote. The petition needs 218 Congressional signatures in order to get the Coal Liquid Fuel Act onto the House floor for debate.

“Sky-high gas prices mean Congress needs an all of the above approach to our energy problems,” Foxx said. “North Carolina families would benefit from projects like coal to liquid, wind energy, new domestic oil supplies or solar power—anything that can reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil and bring down the cost of gas.”

The Coal Liquid Fuel Act has been stalled in a House committee for more than 14 months. It would sanction government-backed loans for coal to liquid programs and encourage new investment in coal to liquid research and production. Coal to liquid technology turns coal into sulfur-free diesel fuel and promises to help offset the more than 400,000 barrels of diesel fuel imported by the U.S. each day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Your Vote Counts - David Barton

Energy Independence - Congresswoman Foxx

The following is from an email from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx

It's time to declare Energy IndependenceHow we can bridge the gap to a less oil-dependent future
By Congresswoman Virginia Foxx
America’s discussion of energy policy is dominated by sky-high gas prices, and rightly so. But in this discussion the national security implications of high energy costs often go unmentioned. Exploding gas prices not only take an ever-larger bite out of average American’s budgets, but also pose a threat to our nation’s security in a global energy marketplace. The time has come for an American declaration of energy independence.
Last year alone the U.S. increased our imports of oil from the OPEC cartel by 12.7 percent for a total of nearly 2 billion barrels of oil—the highest amount in 30 years. That means more than a quarter of our oil consumption comes from an oil cartel composed of countries that vary from oppressive regimes to downright sworn enemies of our country.
To make matters worse, in addition to the billions of barrels we buy from OPEC nations, we also import hundreds of millions of barrels from non-OPEC countries. All told we imported more than 3.6 billion barrels of crude oil in 2007. That’s about two out of every three barrels of crude oil we use.
Imported oil puts America’s energy supply at the mercy of unsavory regimes and can even funnel cash into the hands of state sponsors of terrorism. These are direct threats to our national security.
Energy independence should be a cornerstone of our long-term economic stability and national security. But our oil supply is susceptible to the tinkering of unscrupulous global leaders—from the anti-American regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to authoritarian governments in the Middle East. The best strategy to counter our dependence on foreign oil is to produce oil here in America and reduce our oil consumption by making the transition to alternative sources of energy.
Today about 85 percent of our offshore energy resources are under lock and key. I support lifting Washington’s out-dated ban on offshore drilling and giving individual states the option to produce offshore oil or gas. If states opt to keep their energy resources locked up, that’s their call. But the least we can do is give them the choice.
According to the Departments of Energy and the Interior, America has 175 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.1 trillion barrels of oil that, thanks to Washington regulations, is currently illegal to tap. Unlocking these resources would generate an estimated $60 trillion in federal revenue—and I support legislation to pump these federal energy revenues into alternative energy research.
Tapping into new sources of domestic oil or gas would create a massive funding stream for alternative energy research—without breaking the budget or raising your taxes. Renewable energy sources—hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, sun solar, and biomass—met only about seven percent of America’s total energy needs in 2006, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. We need to boost this number considerably.
America can make an OPEC-free future a reality by funding innovative renewable energy research with new federal oil and gas revenues. Using billions in government oil revenue to fund alternative and renewable resources would help us bridge the gap to a less oil-dependent economy and reduce gas prices.
The good news is that exciting renewable and alternative energy projects are getting off the ground right here in Western North Carolina. Bixby Energy, an alternative energy company with a facility in Wilkes County, is pioneering a zero-emissions coal to natural gas technology that promises to bring small-scale alternative energy production to communities across the country. When I visited the Bixby Energy facility in May to learn about their proprietary technology, they informed me that this technology promises to bring more than 100 new jobs to the area.
Over at Appalachian State University, Dr. Dennis Scanlin recently took home the national Small Wind Advocate of the Year Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. He received the award for his groundbreaking work in small-scale wind energy research in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Dr. Scanlin is one of many at ASU who are actively involved in researching and educating people about alternative energy.
And there’s the new Fibrowatt plant slated for Surry County that will turn chicken litter into a renewable energy source and will create 300 construction jobs and another 80 long-term operational jobs at the future Elkin facility.
The bad news is that some members of Congress cannot conceive of developing new domestic oil supplies because they are so beholden to far-left environmentalists. That’s unfortunate. The very oil supplies that they keep off limits would not only help us kick our national oil habit, they could be our leverage to declare independence from the oil of oppressive regimes’ once and for all.
Editor’s Note: Virginia Foxx a United States Representative from North Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District, is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. You may contact her office toll free at 1-866-677-8968 or e-mail her from her website,