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Obama a man of faith? Friday, 3 July 2009

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting, Political, The Left Side, Views On News.
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President Obama draws fire from evangelicals because he does not support ultra-right-wing agendas.  However, recent news articles have identified Obama as more overtly displaying his faith than most presidents in recent memory, including George W. Bush.

“This administration has used faith more overtly than any other in its first hundred days,” says Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “That includes Bush.”

The news stories go on to say that his overt faith-based initiatives could cost him the support of the Democratic base.

Drawing Fire

Of course, the news reports drew immediate fire themselves. Most of it was based on ‘if you do not believe as a I believe, you don’t believe at all.’ People on the right whose faith is central to their public lives are quick to state that Obama’s faith is a sham, designed to ‘deceive the very elect’ and lead the USA into godlessness and the abandonment of Christian principles.

Full disclosure: there are a number of areas where I disagree with the President concerning statements he has made concerning Christianity. But I consider most members of the far right to be hypocrites who ‘deceive’ and garner followers among evangelicals by paying lip service only Christian principles. Can anyone say ‘Sanford?’

Someone close to me has said she prefers the far-right-sided liars. I don’t. I prefer to know when someone disagrees with me from the get-go, rather finding out about their ‘indiscretions’ in news reports.

Principles vs. Beliefs

If i were enumerating Christian principles, I would include those of honor and integrity. I would also include communicating with others, rather than preaching down to them. St. Francis is credited with saying, “preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Matthew 5:16 (KJV) says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I think Obama’s definition of Christianity is different than mine. But I don’t believe for a minute he is shamming his faith. His is holding true to the vision of his faith despite its unpopularity with both the right and the left.

Does the fact that the President’s faith differs from yours really mean he is faithless? He is being true to his princples, and his beliefs. That’s far more than I credit many of his followers with doing.


Loss of Liquidity – The Bigger Guys Saturday, 28 February 2009

Posted by R Garfield in Bemused, Oversimplified Economics.
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In speaking to the Scott County Democratic Party, Jon Bowerbank made mention of the loss of liquidity his firm – a successful firm, with no duns or dings on record – has experienced as a result of the economic downturn. What this loss meant to his firm was that resources needed for his firm to do its job had to be purchased immediately from cash on hand before he billed his clients. In the pre-liquidity freeze days, the company could purchase the materials for a future job and pay for those materials at the same time or after billing the clients.

That may not seem like a huge change, because either way the materials do, after all, have to be paid for. But the change actually has a significant impact: less liquidity means more resources are tied up in each job; which in turn may limit the number of jobs being able to be pursued at one time. Even if it doesn’t limit the number of jobs, it would limit flexibility in responding to changes foe specific jobs.

Instead of the jobs paying for themselves as they go forward, they are instead being paid for by the prior jobs. If a client is late paying, company resources stay tied up even past job closure dates – further restricting liquidity.

There’s a cycle here, and it’s not a pretty one: the less liquidity available, the more providers – banks and credit card companies – seem to be moving to limit remaining liquidity. Because they are limiting liquidity, you have less, and because you have less, they lower it even further.

If this is the way the economy deals with a successful, strong, ongoing small business, then the impact on individuals would be even greater.

Note: this is my oversimplified thought process based on what Mr. Bowerbank said; at no point do I quote him directly in writing this.

A Quarter Century Milestone Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political.
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Willie Mae Kilgore, mother of state delegate Terry Kilgore and former Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore, has formally announced her retirement as Registrar of Scott County, Virginia effective December 2008.

The letter tendered to the Scott County Electoral Board cites a desire to spend more time with her family.

Ms. Kilgore has served in this capacity for 25 years.

In addition to sons Terry and Jerry, many of Ms. Kilgore’s family is engaged in some form of public service; her husband has served numerous terms as chair of the Scott County Republican Party. Her third son, John Junior, served on the board of the Economic Development Authority, before becoming director of that body.

Palliative Care Thursday, 25 October 2007

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting.
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Palliative Care

I’m in shock; I haven’t talked to my youngest brother, but I have to my sister. She went shopping.

I went shopping, then I went to work, because my brain won’t shut down, but I’m not exactly being productive. The shopping wasn’t productive, either. For either of us. It was just get out of the house, do something. Fight or flight activity when there’s nothing to do.

Prognosis: 6 months. Half a year. Time goes by so fast.

Dad – what will my dad do?

Processing. We’re all still processing.

I love you, mom…

Am-Expressing myself … Sunday, 21 October 2007

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting.
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Had some issues with a Credit Card Company website tonight. I thought it was a potentially serious issue, so I called customer service. Customer service was extremely focused on helping me complete my initial action, which I couldn’t on the site.

That was nice. However, my concern, id est, my reason for calling them in the first place, for the most part, was not addressed.

I was trying to take an action on the site that required that I enter my card security number. I have no problem with that, it’s what the number is there for, after all. The problem was, after checking whatever sources it checks, the website came back with “The information you entered below does not match our records. Please try again.”

So I did. Several times. With and without my glasses, with FireFox and MSIE, with the card in and out of the wallet, with the number pad and without. Error message persisted throughout all the various combinations.

OK, forget about the action I was trying to take. It became, to me, of secondary or even tertiary importance to the fact that the company that issued me my card (or at least their website) was telling me that the correct information was incorrect.

I repeated this to to both the initial CR Representative, and a technical support person. Both offered several times to help me complete my initial action. As I said before, that was great, but that wasn’t the reason I was calling. Neither of them seemed to get that.

At some point, someone must have clicked something, or corrected a database, or something, because the warning went away. That means I can now complete my initial action myself. But I haven’t… I’m having second thoughts. Third ones, even.

You see, while I give the card company VERY high marks for having both CR and Tech staff online and available to help me, and both were very polite and listened to me carefully, the failure to address my reason for calling in favor of completing the initial action without addressing my concern just won’t let me push the submit key.

And I’m sure someone at the Credit Card Company is reviewing this (the call was being recorded) and then looking at my account and saying, “After spending all that time on the phone, why didn’t he go through with it?”

The above text contain 393 words, and according to 2 different standards, should make sense to an 8th grader.