I'm a Pundit Too

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Love Sacrifice Of Leonard And Ray Ethelyn Stouffer

I had planned to write a summary of 2009 with my thoughts, but the events of the past week in my family changed my plans. I hope that you will forgive my abandoning of politics for this week.

After 72 years of marriage, Leonard and Ray Ethelyn Stouffer simply refused to be apart. At 7:10 P.M., December 29 my grandmother passed away, followed shortly thereafter by my grandfather at 9:35 P.M.

Early last week, my grandmother was placed under hospice care and a hospital bed was moved into the living room of their apartment. I saw them both on the morning of Christmas Eve and they were happy and talkative. On Christmas night my grandfather had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where a catheterization was performed and revealed that three arteries were completely blocked and a fourth had minimal blood flow. The cardiologist believed that he had less than a week to live. He was moved back to their apartment to be near the love of his life.

They were both awake enough last evening to realize that they were together again. When the nursing staff pushed their beds side by side, my grandfather reached out and took his bride’s hand and held it. He tried to talk to her but she was not awake enough to respond, so he tried to get into her bed with her to hold her. He eventually settled down and rested.

As his wife’s breathing became more labored, his breathing remained steady. At just after 7 we noticed that her breathing had changed. My father took her hand and she took her last breath. At just after 9 the funeral director left the room with my grandmother, and my sister, Lisa, noticed that there were tears in the corners of my grandfather’s eyes. We also noticed that now his breathing had changed from steady to labored. My father took his hand told him that he loved him and that his wife was waiting for him. A few minutes later he opened his eyes and looked at my father and took his last breath.

This has been a long hard week of emotions. It is painful to lose any loved ones, but it is also painful to watch loved ones suffer. It has been particularly difficult to watch my father suffer the loss of both of his parents in such a very short time. The grief will subside, but I want to remember the love that they shared and his strength and love for his wife. By all accounts, he probably should have gone first. His heart should have given out first. I believe that he held on and stayed conscious enough to know when she had passed away. He refused to leave his wife behind. Their love was their bond and he would have found a way to survive as long as his bride lived.

As I left the retirement home this evening, I was struck by the love and the love sacrifice that my grandparents displayed the last few days and their entire married lives. I also realized that they were just following the example of the love sacrifice of Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The day that God sent his Son to earth to become a love sacrifice for all of us. He endured our rightful punishment so that we would have the opportunity to accept His sacrifice and receive eternal life in Heaven.
Ray Ethelyn and Leonard Stouffer are together in Heaven. They have met their Savior face to face. My prayer tonight is to follow their example of love in my own marriage, but more importantly to follow my Savior’s example of love. Is He your Savior tonight?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome To The Era Of Ignorant Arrogance

As the Senate winds down with their plan to further destroy our economy with healthcare reform, they have thrown away any semblance of transparency or desire to actually reform healthcare. The pressure is turned up for every day that we get closer to Christmas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid desires to pass any bill, whatever the cost, before Christmas to present to President Obama. All of this maneuvering is to enable the President to point to at least one accomplishment when he delivers his State of the Union speech in late January. After all it isn’t exactly a great accomplishment for the President to point to 10% unemployment, his historic spending deficits, or even the newly increased debt ceiling.

With just a week before Christmas, the final version of the 2000+-page bill has not even been released to the full Senate for them to read. The majority has rushed this bill to try to get it passed for not only the President’s own selfish reasons, but also because the longer this monstrosity of a bill sits out there, the less the American public supports it. As a matter of fact, there is less support among the public for this reform bill, than there was for Hillary-care back in the early 1990’s. The severe lack of support for this reform bill is more than likely the catalyst for Reid’s desire to keep this bill hidden until it is passed.

Even the amendment process is too politically charged for the majority to allow an amendment to be read aloud on the Senate floor. The admitted socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, proposed an amendment to the bill that would supersede the entire reform bill and replace it with a socialist health care system. When Senator Cobourn of Oklahoma asked that the clerk on the floor read the 767-page amendment, Sanders came down to the Senate to break Senate rules and end the reading and remove the amendment. The break in rules came when Sanders removed his amendment and ended the reading. The problem is that once the bill reading had started, only unanimous consent can end the reading.

It is a rare moment when I praise Senator Olympia Snowe, but I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with a recent statement that she made. “I don’t see anything magical about the Christmas deadline if this bill is going to become law in 2014.” Her words ring very true. What is the rush to pass this disastrous bill if none of the reforms actually take effect until 2014, conveniently after the 2012 elections? Of course the urgency of the matter has become the party line for all Congressman who have supported it. My own embarrassment of a Representative, Dutch Ruppersberger, explained in his form letter reply to my query about his vote that the urgency of the matter played a very large role in his decision to vote for it. I suppose that when a bureaucrat sees his political career coming to an end, his urgency may be a bit skewed. I believe it is time to end the era of ignorant arrogance.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Obama Deficit Lie

President Barack Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have hypocritically promised since taken office in January that are going to be “deficit hawks”. We have not even reached the one-year anniversary of the Inauguration and the same Democratic leaders are raising the debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion. The national debt is already nearing $12.1 trillion and the economic geniuses in DC have realized that their historic deficit spending has made it imperative to raise the ceiling.

The federal deficit for last fiscal year that ended at the end of September was around $1.4 trillion. To put that into perspective, the federal budget for all of 2008 was $2.9 trillion. To be fair, and to prevent my left-leaning friends from hyperventilating, some of that deficit belongs to President Bush, but in the first 2 months of this fiscal year the Obama administration has spent $296.7 billion in the red. Project that out for the next 12 months and the 2010 federal deficit will be about $1.8 trillion. Of course we have to consider that the “emergency” stimulus spending has not really even started to be spent.

Based on President Obama’s penchant for socialist government, you can guarantee his response to the crippling deficit and ever-increasing debt will be to raise taxes. His tax increases will be “targeted” towards only the “rich”, but it will soon become apparent that the definition of rich will be continually redefined until the majority of the middle class will be hit as well. Of course the net result of his tax hikes will be an even bigger hit to the economy than his disastrous policies have already been. "There is no such thing as government money - only taxpayer money." William Weld

The bureaucrats in Washington have expelled so much hot air making promises about deficits, bailouts, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and health care that if I believed in the global warming hoax, I would be worried about a real life Day After Tomorrow. Thank God the carbon dioxide being spewed out in DC has no effect on our climate. Unfortunately the idiotic economic policies coming out of Washington will have lasting effects that our children and grandchildren will feel. To borrow a line from the President’s campaign, “It is time for Change!”

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