Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Hurricane Harvey Reveals the True Spirit of America

Waiting for the media to blame President Trump for the response to Hurricane Harvey, the loss of life from the hurricane… for the very existence of hurricanes.

To focus on politics would be to lose sight of the daily heroism of our first responders, and equally important, everyday people who possess the God-given strength to face, and overcome, overwhelming adversity.  As Hurricane Harvey struck Houston this past week, it is clear the devastation and loss of life will be catastrophic for so many people in the great state of Texas.  But it will also show, once again, the greatness of the American people when faced with an unprecedented challenge… we shall, as always, overcome.

Hurricane Harvey Earth with hurricane harvey
Harvey was a Category 4, which is a major hurricane.  Some of the big, catastrophic hurricanes to hit the U.S. have included the following:

  1. 1900 – Galvetson, TX Hurricane – Category 4. The lack of modern technology and an early warning system resulted in the worst loss of life from a hurricane in US history, between 8,000 and 12,000 dead.
  2. 1928 – Lake Okeechobee (FL) Hurricane. Believed to be a Category 3, again the lack of early warning systems resulted in approximately 3,000 deaths.
  3. 2005 – Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans, LA – Category 3. Not the largest, but because of New Orleans being essentially below sea level… combined with inept local leadership in preparation for the storm, Katrina took 1,500 lives and was the most expensive rebuild in U.S. history to date, totaling in excess of $108 billion.

Harvey was different than most storms since it was not the predictable wind damage, but heavy rains (combined with storm surge) which caused flooding to be far worse than anticipated.  Rainfall is estimated in excess of 50 inches – that’s chest deep on the average American.  Harvey may end up being the most expensive rebuild when all is said and done.  But we remain blessed as a country to have such resourceful and resilient citizens.  Anywhere else in the world, when a catastrophe of this magnitude strikes, the death toll is usually far greater.  Imagine how worse things could be without the modern technology and infrastructure necessary to deal with natural disasters.    But the strongest resource we have are the American people – strong and resolute in the eye of the storm, and those not directly affected are always ready to lend a helping hand.

Those heroes are a reflection of the best in all of us, and they are already visible in the aftermath of Harvey.  The “Cajun Navy” formed a flotilla heading towards Houston to lend a helping hand and to rescue thousands in need… Houston SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck rescued a mother clutching her infant child amidst a raging storm surge… Dr. Stephen Kimmel canoed to the Houston hospital to perform surgery on a teenager that needed immediate care or would have died… the scale and scope of Americans of every race and creed taking on personal risk to aid their neighbor is simply immeasurable.

Hurricane Harvey will remain in the news for awhile, and then the next headline will take its place.  The people of Houston, the state of Texas, and the rain-drenched surrounding areas, will be rebuilding for years to come.  Take a moment to pray for those who have lost, and those that remain in need.  And remember that despite this terrible event, it could have been much worse if we lived anywhere else.  Thank God we are, and remain, Americans!

American Flag - Hurricane Harvey


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Adversity is nothing new

Adversity Is Nothing New

Thanks to the glory of free markets, capitalism has been able to produce the technology and develop the resources to make man richer and more prosperous than ever before in human history.  While the Bible is clear that we will always have the poor among us, more people have been lifted out of poverty, and fewer people are in poverty, than ever before.

This generation enjoys every modern convenience imaginable, and even the poorest among us have access to cell phones, air conditioning, food, shelter, clothing and health care.  Under these conditions, as compared to the past, you would think we would be living in calm, tranquil times.

Ummm… no.

 Why in these unprecedented times of wealth and prosperity are we seemingly less happy and more afraid of the future?  There have always been times of adversity and uncertainty… but the one critical difference today may be that everyone is aware of it.

Satellite TV, the media companies and most of all, the internet, have fostered a sense of fear and division.  Headlines of a world in disarray have been amplified.  If you only watch the 6 o’clock news, or scroll through Facebook, that is what you are fed every night.

But, world changing events are nothing new. Consider these events from this past week in history:

  1. 1642 – Civil War begins in England. Charles I declares war on Parliament at Nottingham.
  2. 1849 – The Portuguese governor is assassinated in Macao. Having decreed multiple ordinances which the Chinese considered anti-Chinese, the Portuguese colonial leader was killed by masked assailants in China.
  3. 1911 – the Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre. The Mona Lisa was stolen this week in 1911, and was not recovered for over 2 years.  It had been hanging in the Louvre for over 100 years when it was taken.
  4. 1945 – War in Vietnam begins. Ho Chi Minh overthrows the Free French government in the immediate aftermath of World War II.  He was inspired by the anti-colonial message found in the American Declaration of Independence.  French paratroopers land in southern Indochina, and the Vietnam War would last 28 years, with Americans replacing the French in the early 60’s and losing over 58,000 US soldiers to the conflict.  Vietnamese losses, both military and civilian, will exceed 4 million during this time frame.
  5. 1962 – OAS gunmen attempt to assassinate Charles De Gaulle in France. Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air force lieutenant colonel and famed weapons expert attempted to kill President de Gaulle for agreeing to Algerian independence.  It would be one of many attempts on the lives of Western leaders through the brutal decade of the 60s.
  6. 1971 – Bolivian Colonel Hugo Suarez ousts leftist President-General Juan Torres in a CIA-backed coup. The 60s and 70s were rife with CIA activity to ensure communism did not gain a foothold in Central America.  Dwarfed by concern over the Vietnam War, it is unlikely CIA activity would have remained discreet in the era of twitter.
  7. 1971 – FBI arrests members of The Camden 28 anti-war group. While law enforcement today is being ordered to stand down when violence erupts in many American cities, American leadership has historically taken action against leftist subversion.
  8. 1975 – Sara Jane Moore attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford. This was the 2nd attempt on Ford’s life in less than a month.  Moore was a leftist radical who had grown to hate America.  She received a life sentence and after serving 32 years  was released on parole at the age of 77.  She said on the Today show she deeply regretted her actions and that she was “blinded by her radical political views.”
  9. 1983 – Benigno Aquino gunned down in Manilla airport. Aquino was the only opposition leader to the autocratic rein of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines; however, he drew support from Marxist guerrillas in the country.  As our primary base in the Pacific and a long-time strategic asset, the U.S. tolerated and supported Marcos well into the 1980s.  The assassination helped galvanize anti-Marcos forces, and Aquino’s widowed wife would eventually win the Presidential elections in 1986.
  10. 1995 – The Siege at Ruby Ridge. Randy Weaver and his family were survivalists who lived on their homestead in Naples, Idaho.  A neighbor who lost a land dispute with Weaver, and was forced to pay $5,100 in the settlement, began writing the FBI about Weaver threatening the President, and being a member of the Aryan Nations.  Weaver had a friend, Frank Kumnick, who was a member of the Christian Identity group “Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord,” but Weaver was not a member.  The resulting investigation by several government agencies led to the standoff at Weaver’s home on Ruby Ridge.  An FBI officer shot and killed Weaver’s son, wife, and dog in the standoff, while Weaver returned fire killing a federal ATF agent.   In the end, Weaver surrendered – he was arrested and indicted – but all charges were eventually dropped.  Weaver won a civil suit of $3.1 million from the government over the events which occurred.

These events all happened this week in history.  Somehow, we made it through.  So, while much of the news today is filled with chaos and division, remember that the world has never been a place without struggles and conflict.  Today, we enjoy unprecedented technology, an abundance of food and shelter, and extraordinary wealth and resources.  Free market capitalism has virtually eradicated poverty wherever it has been tried.  This week, don’t focus on the news provided by the news media. Take a moment to enjoy your family and all of the modern conveniences which make life easier than in the past. Count your blessings that you enjoy such benefits in the land of the free and the home of the brave… America! 

Charlottesville - What Unites Us

Charlottesville Aftermath: What Unites Us

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday, which included the tragedy of 3 lost lives, depicted an America hopelessly divided.  The “Dis-United States” is a theme we hear daily in the media.  But don’t believe the hype… the mainstream media benefits from our division, and as terrible as Charlottesville was, only a couple of hundred people bothered to show up.  On the leftist-progressive side, many were likely paid to attend.

Watching TV and watching Congress, you may get the sense we are a nation that cannot agree on anything, but that is simply not true. Americans have much more that unites us than divides us, and the more we remember this, the less sway the media will have over our daily lives.

Consider These Unifying, All-American Ideals:

  1. 91% of Americans believe citizenship defines being an American. You can’t get 91% of Americans to agree on hardly anything, but you can apparently get them to agree that being an American is defined by having actual, legal U.S. citizenship.  This was determined in a poll after the election in December 2016, by the VOTER STUDY GROUP, and reported in the Washington Post.
  2. 93% believe you should respect American institutions. This number seems very high, right?  Well, it wasn’t talking about Congress.  The survey question polled included the military, firefighters, police, the courts, and local social organizations (Rotary). This is an important number considering the signals we receive from the media are the public doesn’t trust anyone anymore.  This poll suggests that is not the case (same VOTER STUDY GROUP polling).
  3. 85% of Americans believe you must learn English. Although a gap opens here between political affiliations, still a whopping 75% of Democrats surveyed believe American citizens must learn English (96% of Republicans).
  4. We love our sports and leisure. Biking, hiking, auto racing, baseball, college football, and professional football are all important to the American people. Americans can argue to their last breath who the best Quarterback in history is (outside of Atlanta, Tom Brady has surpassed Joe Montana?), but we collectively relish our weekend rituals and competitive leisure time.  The most watched television events in planetary history are usually the Olympics.  The moon landing was watched by close to 14% of all people on the Earth at the time.  As of today, the largest watched TV show was the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics – where half the world, 3.2 billion people, was measured to have watched.  In America, 9 of the top ten rated shows of all time?  The Super Bowl.

 Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet…everyone remembers that old commercial from the 1970s.  Americans of all races, colors and creeds can agree on things that unite us, and they are far greater than that which divides us.



But that is the whole point about being an American, isn’t it?  You can disagree in the marketplace of ideas, you are entitled to your own opinion, and no one should have the right to infringe on your freedoms.  “Freedom,” that is truly what it means to be an American, and that is something we all share and treasure.

We are Americans with a capital “A.”  Americans are not hopelessly divided. The media and fringe elements are trying to divide us, but they cannot succeed unless we let them.