Archive for October, 2011

Protect the Border, or the Desert? Why not Both?

October 31, 2011

Seems, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Star, there’s a brouhaha brewing about the problem of illegals using restricted wilderness areas along the Mexican border to gain entry to the U. S. with minimal risk of interception by Border Patrol agents.

These wilderness areas are off-limits to vehicular traffic, even government traffic, and large enough to make patrolling on horseback mostly impractical. So, on the one hand, we have the Border Patrol saying that the restrictions “hamper” their enforcement efforts. On the other hand we have the EPA and environmental groups striving to protect these areas from incursion by vehicles, even for the purpose of protecting the border.

I am originally from New Mexico, and I understand the fragility of these desert wilderness areas. Rain can be so infrequent that tire tracks really can cause permanent damage. The native grasses get so dry they crumble like ash under footprint or tire track. From my perspective, both sides in this argument have valid points of view.

Apparently, our Congressmen are spending time debating whether border enforcement, or environmental concerns will prevail.

Time for some out-of-the-box thinking. What I am proposing here, is a radical change in approach to satisfy both sides:

  1. Use tethered blimps for low-energy high-altitude surveillance. High resolution cameras and infrared sensors can handle spotting day and night.
  2. Follow up with interception using airborne drones.

Don’t jump to the conclusion that I am advocating strafing these illegal entrants dead in the desert, to feed the coyotes. I’m not. (Too many illegals would lead to a critical Coyote obesity problem). Instead, we should outfit the drones with a paint-ball gun and indelibly mark the lawbreakers for easy retrieval when they show up in civilization. As an added benefit, we will have a photo of the intruders from the targeting video.

We don’t have to send vehicles into the wilderness to patrol. We protect the desert from everything but a few gelatin capsules that will quickly degrade in the blazing sun. We remove all plausibility from the normal excuses posed by those who hire illegals. The only excuse left will be; “Honest! I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to hire people with a big florescent purple splotch on their forehead.”

I admit, this post is kind of tongue-in-cheek. But, don’t you think it has some merit?


Occupy Cedar Rapids

October 29, 2011

Of late, I have been reading Excuses Begone! by Dr. Wayne Dyer. The central premise, if I may paraphrase, is that the individual is made in the image of God, and if he/she aligns him/herself with this destiny – putting aside the typical excuse-making of human nature/ego – then God’s nature can be realized in us and we can find happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction in life as our Creator intended for us. That is, we can become individuals who are hands-down above the mundane norm of our society – practically without limits in our purpose, plans, and achievements. Fundamental Christians rail against the sort of things that Dr. Dyer writes, decrying his premises; railing that the things he says are “new age” because he dares to reference sources other than the Bible. I find, however, that most of what he writes can be easily validated through scripture, if one is willing to look. The scripture says in Romans 1:20 that God make himself known.  It is not far-fetched to think that aware individuals, such as Dr. Dyer, should actually get in step with the voice of God.   It is not my place to judge the ultimate spiritual state of Dr. Dyer. But suffice it to say that I find a great deal of practical truth in Dr. Dyer’s books. I actually find a lot of benefit in looking at things from a non-traditional viewpoint. Perhaps I might worry more about the references to eastern religions, etc, except that I have been seeking the truth for long enough now, that I don’t expect to get too far off in the weeds from examining another point of view.

Today, I spotted a few people on the corner of first avenue and Collins road in Cedar Rapids, holding signs and showing their support to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests. What I find most striking about these protesters is the basic premise of their rhetoric — espoused by their signs — is that someone else is to blame for their unhappiness. This is the very antithesis of the message that Dr. Dyer conveys in his writings. And for that matter, that the Bible conveys, to those who will look honestly at it’s message. ie: 1.The problem is due to some greedy “rich” person, rather than my own failure to take responsibility for my own destiny. 2.The solution is to get the government to give some of the “rich” person’s assets to me. There is, apparently, no recognition of the possibility of finding the value of the fulfillment in living the full life the Creator of the Universe set within our hearts. My opinion is this: The “occupy” people are wasting their time, following their egotistical assertions their problems are the “fault” of the rich. If only they would begin to seek their own place in the universe, the “rich” would become irrelevant. Who, knows? Being rich might be their own destiny, if only they could open their eyes to what they should be doing, beyond blaming and complaining. So, instead of holding signs to indicate the “rich” are evil, they could have been spending this beautiful afternoon pursuing their own intended purposes. Which do you think would have been more effective?

Pastor Youcef – Update

October 26, 2011

Here is a link that you can use to send an encouraging letter to Pastor Yousef.  Who, if you haven’t been following is being held under sentence of death in Iran for his Christian faith.  Think about his situation; his natural inclination to care for his flock of believers, his family, his very life.  Please read the tutorial on the site before composing your letter.

Republican Contenders

October 23, 2011

I just got home from Des Moines (2 hour drive, one way) where I heard a short speech by Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Governor Rick Perry, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congressman Ron Paul, and Former U. S. Senator Rick Santorum.  Mr Cain seemed to be doing damage control for some earlier offhand comments about the right to life that could have been seen as “soft” on the issue.  I can understand that approach, given that it is a big issue for the group hosting the meeting (the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition) .  Truthfully, it is a big issue for me.  I would say that Mr. Cain put that issue to rest, for any that wanted to know his heart on the right-to-life issue.  Otherwise, I would say Mr. Cain “phoned it in” on any other points, except perhaps expressing the notion that he would institute an “attitude adjustment” at the EPA in response to a question about US energy production.  Newt came off sounding brilliant and positively presidential, as his experience prepares him to do, and Rick Santorum’s intentional stories of personal tragedy around his own dealings with the right to life in his own family left Mr. Cain’s comments sounding merely theoretical.  Mitt Romney decided not to grace us with his presence.  Governor Perry talked of his small-town upbringing and Michele Bachmann expressed support for Israel and many other issues that Tea Party faithful hold dear.  Congressman Ron Paul said lots of things that I agree with, but I noted his style failed to hold the attention of the audience — it’s a problem for him.

The news media was in evidence.  My wife and I were interviewed by a reporter from NPR and by a team from a news outlet in W. Virginia.  Who knows? Maybe you will see us on the news.

Coverage by C-Span is here:

Keep Praying for Youcef Nadarkhani

October 11, 2011

According to the Fox News article referenced below, a new trial has been ordered for Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkani.  Youcef has been facing the death penalty for his Christian faith.  Of course, it is unclear what this move will mean in the long run, but it is a change from the status quo.  So please, keep those prayers coming!

– writewild
Read more:

Prayer for Marzieh Vafamehr

October 9, 2011

Lord, please intervene on the behalf of Marzieh Vafamehr. Lead her in a direction that will let her see real truth and know your protection. Confound the plans of those who walk in the way that seems right to those in charge in Iran. Open prison doors for her, even as you did for Peter. Let her go free! I pray that this situation will open the eyes of many in that dark land. Let them see that your love is a better way than the way of fear the fear employed by corrupt men under Islam (or any other system). -writewild

World Views in Conflict

October 9, 2011

We have, in the United States, basically two world views vying for dominance. In one, man is seen as greedy and self serving. The solution is seen to be control of these selfish desires in corrupt individuals by powerful government. Under this system of belief, the mechanism of control is obvious: regulations that spell out the limits to which an individual can go and a system to enforce the regulations. In effect, this system is control of selfish desires by force. In the second world view, man is also seen as greedy and self serving. While the basic problem is not one that produces disagreement, the solution under the second world view takes a dramatically different turn. The second world view gives assent to the problem of corruption of the individual, but asserts that the solution is given by the supernatural redeeming work of Christ, working to change the heart of the corrupt individual from self serving to Christ serving. (In practice, this amounts to serving others, rather than self).

Now, the redemption approach requires complete freedom. God appears to place great value on the freedom of man to choose. Why? Because He wants the relationship to be one of love, rather than one of coercion. Any honest philosopher can recognize that freedom is essential to love.

Failure to recognize this fact lies at the root of the motivation for the world view that requires a powerful government to set things right. Maybe it is cynicism; doubt that the individual can be trusted to do the right thing.

The trouble with the powerful government model is this: government ends up being comprised of the same corrupt individuals as the rest of the population. Only, once they are in power, they have the power of the government behind them. They are not just corrupt individuals, they are corrupt individuals in charge of the government power structure.

This is one place where the philosophy of the Occupy Wall Street (or Occupy Wherever) crowd is gone awry. The protesters recognize the corruption (the part that is not in dispute), and have been goaded into action by their organizers. They haven’t thought about the problem with the solution that they are seeking. They naively think that if “their” guys are in charge, everything will get better.

Our founding fathers were not unclear on this issue. Their solution was to propose a limited government, to set some loose constraints to deal with those who would use their freedom inappropriately, and leave room for the individual to make their own way under the guidance of God, the only being who is above corruption.

In a nutshell, we are in the fix we are in because we have gotten too far away from Him.

Just something for you occupiers to think about while you are sitting around on Wall Street.

Self-Evident Truth

October 3, 2011

I ask you to join me in praying for Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian pastor, who has been arrested and condemned for apostacy, a capital offense under Islam in Iran.

There is a tendency for those of us living in comfort and relative safety to shy away from much contemplation of such situations. This is unpleasant business.  But Youcef has been steadfast in his spiritual convictions in the face of death, just as Jesus was. Not a single point of decision, either.  Months of facing the looming threat of execution has not swayed his faithfulness.  I stand in awe of the character of this man, and of the Lord he serves.  I know that he and I have been adopted into the same family of grace.  We are bothers.  Seems the least I can do is to raise my heart in prayer, to seek God’s will in the matter; for He is good and He is faithful.

So please, pray with me.  Remember too Jesus’ words, “By their fruit you will recognize them.”

– writewild