George Stephanopoulos vs. Michele Bachmann – The GMA Interview

Still from Good Morning America

At home today convalescing a bad back so I played Eenie Meenie to determine which morning news show I would watch. Good Morning America won. The first interview was conducted by George Stephanopoulos. His subject was Tea Party presidential front-runner Michele Bachmann. First, let me note that I like Stephanopoulos and, to date, dislike the Tea Party. I anticipated watching him throw out the hardball questions and listening to Bachmann’s response. Instead of an insightful interview, I was treated to an American History pop quiz.

Everyone who has graduated elementary school should know John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. Unfortunately, Bachmann did not know this when she made a recent comment the Founding Fathers working tirelessly to end slavery and identified J.Q.A. as a Founding Father. Stephanopoulos, citing an article that listed Bachmann as one of the worst offenders when it comes to perpetuating inaccurate comments, asked her if she were willing to admit she made a mistake. Rather than answer the question, Bachmann responded with a prepared speech about how wonderful America is. So, Stephanopoulos asked the question again and Bachmann, again, dodged. At this point, it was obvious this woman was either totally clueless or completely unwilling to accept she was wrong. Either quality should make one question her ability to lead the free world, but I digress. Instead of accepting Bachmann’s reluctance to provide an unscripted response, Stephanopoulos seemed to take pleasure in spotlighting her ignorance. He asked yet again if she really thought Adams was a Founding Father and smirked when she, yet again, provided a ridiculous answer.

Although I am not a Bachmann fan, I was disappointed in Stephanopoulos’ tone. It wasn’t professional and lends credence to the long-held notion that the news media are partisan and elitist. Of course, Bachmann played her part in the exchange. It doesn’t make one weak to admit a mistake. She could have even imported her “I Love America” standby into the admission, something along the lines of, “You know, my love for this country is so strong that I misspoke during the heat of the moment. Of course I know John Quincy Adams was far too young to be a Founding Father. Most Americans understand my intent. I’d much rather focus on my platform.” She only compounded the issue by trying to rationalize her mistake. Not a good look. Certainly didn’t endear her to me.

I, for one, would have appreciated hearing how she plans to get the country back on track instead of being subjected to a verbal sparring match about our country’s history then the somewhat sexist question of if she has prepared her family for the rigors of campaign life. Is Mitt Romney being asked that question? How about Ron Paul? The interview ended with me knowing as much about Michele Bachmann as I did before the interview, which is very little. Then, again, maybe that was the intent.

See the interview here.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

You were my first “crush”. The first man I was glad, heck ecstatic, to see at the beginning, middle and end of the day. You were the first man whose arms I ran into. The first man whose hugs gave me a sense of security.

By your example, I learned that hard work doesn’t kill you. I learned not to be selfish and how to treat others fairly. From your instruction, I learned to value myself – my mind and my body. You taught me that a man’s words are a dime a dozen; his actions speak volumes. I now know that a passionately whispered, “I love you,” means nothing if I am not being treated with respect. Because of you I have had the strength to let several frogs hop away while I wait for my prince.

You were also the first man to show that although people disappoint, it doesn’t make them bad. You taught me that no one is perfect and to accept people as they are. Because of you I focus less on what appears to be and more on what actually is.

The relationship between a father and daughter is dynamic. It is also filled with many emotional levels – happiness, sadness, anger, joy, frustration but always – always – love. It hasn’t been easy (few things worth having are) but I am glad neither one of us gave up on the other. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Today and everyday.

Holy or Hypocrite?

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benched of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’ But you have made it ‘a den or robbers.’” Mark 11:15-17

An influential Atlanta-based bishop recently reached an out of court of settlement with young men accusing him of sexual misconduct. Although unconfirmed, sources claim the settlement to be $15 million. A recent tabloid television investigation reported the opulent lifestyles of several of America’s most popular television evangelists. One allegedly has a fleet of airplanes (in the name of the search) housed at his personal airport (not in the church’s name) built near his estate. When approached and asked why he had the airplanes, he huffily told the investigator, “That’s none of your business!” Then, there is the preacher falsely prophesying the end of the world.

No wonder the masses have such a negative view of Christianity. Thankfully we, the church, cannot be dismayed or led astray. We who study know that Jesus warns us against false prophets and religious leaders. He teaches us that anyone who preaches against His instruction should not be trusted. His Word has held true since the time He walked among us. And they hold true forevermore.

There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. The wealthy have the same opportunity for salvation as everyone else. Unfortunately, with the wealthy, money and possessions become their gods. As is human nature, the more you have the more you want. There are not many people who would willingly give up their luxurious lifestyles to follow the Lord, illustrated in Matthew 19 when a wealthy young man asked Jesus what good thing he needed to do to get eternal life. When Jesus instructed him to sell his possessions and follow Him, the young man was greatly troubled, prompting this response:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

This passage does not mean everyone should sell his or her possessions. We have responsibilities and families to support. However, we should be willing to give up everything for God. There should be nothing separating us from Him, including money. It is impossible to serve two gods.

While I will never doubt the sincerity of anyone’s love for God, I am disappointed in the reported actions of the aforementioned and countless other preachers, pastors and evangelists. Let’s rededicate ourselves to the teachings of Jesus. Let’s meditate on His Word. Let’s be true Christians and not bow down to worldly gods.

Vegas Moon by John Locke – A Book Review

I purchased the Kindle edition of John Locke’s Donovan Creed novel, Vegas Moon for $0.99, motivated mostly by the price and the author’s tagline of “Every 7 seconds, 24 hours a day, a John Locke novel is downloaded somewhere in the world.” I simply couldn’t resist.

The novel begins with sleazy Las Vegas high roller Lucky Peters undergoing an anesthetic-free colonoscopy by a Jamaican proctologist.

Um, yeah.

After the procedure, Lucky retrieves disturbing cell phone messages from his mistress regarding hit man Connor Payne. Mr. Payne is paying her a visit and she is terrified. You see, she has in her possession a device that can activate a chip implanted in Payne’s brain. When activated, this chip will turn his brain into mush.

Again, um, yeah.

After the mistress meets her end at the hands of Payne (the code she types to activate the chip backfires), Lucky enlists the help of another hit man, G-Man Donavan Creed, to protect his wife. There were several brain-mushing devices made and Lucky’s wife has one of them. There is one problem – Connor Payne and Donovan Creed are the same person. Of course, Lucky doesn’t know this, much to Creed’s advantage as he is in search of the remaining devices. While in bodyguard mode, Creed is introduced to a dizzying array of characters: Lucky’s sexy young trophy wife, Gwen, her pet rooster, and Lucky’s depraved Vegas associates.

Oh, and Creed, in the midst of his bodyguard duties, also takes the time to assassinate a terrorist in a busy airport.

Sigh.

OK, the good. This is an easy, breezy (about 186 pages in the paperback edition) read that is good for a few laughs. There are some solid one-liners and it is a perfect time-waster. Now, the bad. The plot is so improbable and over-the-top that it should be categorized as a fantasy along the lines of the popular vampire and werewolf tomes currently saturating the market.

Reviewing this book leaves me perplexed. The story is trashy and unrealistic, but it does grab you. The characters are miscreants, the protagonist is a complex anti-hero, but boy are they funny! The truth is, I liked this novel. Mr. Locke is a good writer, but this plot is groan-worthy. I recommend Vegas Moon only to those who truly enjoy this type of “literature”. Two out of five stars.

As Seen In Beauty Mags – Clarisonic Mia UPDATE!!

I know I wrote in my last post about the Clarisonic Mia in April 2011 that I would provide an update after 30 days of continuous use. I apologize for the delay, but I missed some days during that review period so I waited until I could provide an accurate and honest review. Now after over 60 days of use (not all continuous), I can truthfully state that this cleansing system is a winner.

I still use the sensitive brush head with Oil of Olay’s Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive skin. As finicky as my skin is, once I find a successful combination, I stick with it. As I mentioned previously, the Clarisonic Mia can be used everyday, however I have found, for me, that skipping a day between uses produces better results.

I have done a couple of price comparisons since I purchased the Mia and the cost is about the same, although Amazon is now offering the lavender version for a couple of bucks less than what I paid. Although I recommend this system, it is pricey so make sure you are willing to make the investment – anywhere from $121 – $150 depending upon the retailer. If you decide to take the plunge, I can attest that it will be money well spent. The difference in your skin’s texture and appearance is immediate. The Clarisonic Mia is an excellent product – five out of five stars!

Are We Loving Our Children To Death?



“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

Our society has come a long way. Technological and social advances have opened remote worlds to the masses and have helped foster understanding and tolerance. It is through the power of these advances that I am able to share this message with you today.

However, as we advance, it seems our willingness to accept has turned us away from common sense. In these “enlightened” times, we have deemed the practices and norms that fostered a generation old-fashioned, cruel and, in some instances, illegal.

There was a time when one could tell a misbehaving child that his parents were going to be informed of his mischief and that child would instantly begin to behave. That was during the time when parents had more control over their children and administered discipline when necessary. No child wanted to be on the receiving end of a spanking. Now, children misbehave in front of their parents with no fear of repercussion. Parents are either too weary from daily stresses, too afraid of the opinions of others or so focused on making their children happy that they are afraid of properly disciplining them.

By discipline, I am not referring to violence. No one – child, woman or man – should have to contend with being beaten. A hand to the bottom is not the same as a fist to the eye. Anger should never be a factor in disciplining a child; love should always be the basis. You don’t love a child by turning a blind eye to his or her antics. You love a child when rules and expectations are set and by making sure he or she understands there are consequences to their actions – both good and bad.

I know this is not a popular sentiment and I certainly don’t mean to offend. However, there is an influx of wayward children who have absolutely no respect or consideration for others. And, if you ever have the opportunity to hold a conversation with them, you will find that these children have no idea that they are disrespectful and inconsiderate. They feel they are normal because everyone they know acts the same way.

We have to start doing better by these kids. It always starts at home. Loving your kids is natural. Raising them is tough. Most parents do the best they can and this is not admonishment to them. It is just a plea to not love them to death.

Someone To Talk To

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-10

Do you sometimes wish you had someone with whom you could talk? I mean really talk. Someone who wouldn’t hold your thoughts against you or constantly remind you of your transgressions? Someone you know wouldn’t blab your secrets or your desires, but would instead walk through them with you. In essence, a true friend.

Just thinking about someone like that brings about a sense of peace and assurance that seems impossible in this world. I am close to my mother and, although I can go to her with any problem, there are certain things I wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing with her. I have close friends but, again, there are some thoughts and situations I deemed too complex and private.

I was wrong.

Nothing is hidden is from the Lord. He knows our hearts, which is the home of our desires. He is already close to us; we need to become closer to Him. Talk to Him. I mean beyond prayers that have become rote. Talk to Him about your problems, from that small irritation you encountered at work to that major issue that you feel no one else would understand. He is interested and concerned about You. Go ahead and try it. You will literally feel the yoke being lifted from your shoulders.

It’s true that everyone needs someone to talk to. As Christians, we always have Someone who is available at anytime and anyplace.