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Location: La Mirada, California, United States

All original content on RickSpeak is the intellectual property of Rickspeak.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cashing In - Can You Guess Who?

Can you guess who uttered these words on November 25, 2003?

"I have a new respect for him (President Bush) because he was sincere and he didn't have to take the time to meet with us. I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss, and I know he's a man of faith."

Why, it was none other than Cindy Sheehan, last seen cashing in on her "grief" with public speaking engagements at universities and colleges (of course) near you!!!

Are You A "Useful Idiot"?

My favorite political subject!!!


The Funny Thing Is, I'm Agnostic - I Think...

Personal observation: The only famous "Christians" I can think of since post WWII and the beginning of the age of television, just off the top of my head, are (And no, not all on my list are "Christians", but the life they lead, well, you get my meaning - I hope!):

Mother Theresa
The Dali Lama
Anwar Sadat
Ronald Reagan
George H.W. Bush
Jimmy Carter
Harry S. Truman
Vin Scully
Lou Gehrig
Roberto Clemente
Willie Stargell
Gale Sayers
Vince Lombardi
Tom Landry
Roger Staubach
Dan Marino
George Harrison
Bob Dylan
Bob Geldof

I've left off plenty of others, I just can't think of them at this time. On to the article...

Political preachers deliver misleading messageCal Thomas
August 30, 2005
PORTSTEWART, Northern Ireland - Word of Pat Robertson's outrageous remarks recommending the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has reached this small seacoast town. A local man asked me what I thought of his comments. "Not much," I replied with some embarrassment. I'm sure the non Christian world is having a fine time ridiculing this latest example of un-Christ-like behavior.
Robertson has made other remarks over the years about all sorts of things that have nothing to do with the gospel in which he says he believes. He is not alone. On the right and on the left, ordained and self-proclaimed "reverends" and honorary "doctors" appear to spend more time trying to reform a fallen and decaying world through politics and earthly power than they do promoting and proclaiming the ultimate answer to that fallenness.
While these apostles of political parties and personal agendas have every right to make fools of themselves, they are enabled in their foolishness by millions of people who blindly send them money. These money-senders are looking in the wrong place for their deliverance. While paying lip service to eternity, they seem to prefer immediate political gratification.
Few would pay attention to political preachers if these ministers did not have access to television and radio. And they would not have TV programs if people did not send them money which, in addition to buying TV time, is used to set most of them up in lifestyles that resemble the "rich young ruler." Jesus told the ruler to "sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Luke 18:22), but many TV preachers seem to expect you to sell what you have and give to them.
Much of what is proclaimed as God's will on TV and in fundraising appeals is false religion. People who respond with checks are either ignorant or willfully disobedient to what their spiritual commander-in-chief and the early apostles taught and practiced.
One of the great pronouncements on a Christian's relationship to the world is contained in 1 John 2:15-17: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. . For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away."
Too many Christians think if they shout loud enough and gain political strength the world will be improved. That is a false doctrine. I have never seen anyone "converted" to a Christian's point of view (and those views are not uniform) through political power. I have frequently seen someone's views changed after they have experienced true conversion and then live by different standards and live for goals beyond which political party controls the government.
Repeatedly in the Scriptures, which TV ministers regularly and selectively quote, are teachings, admonitions and commands that are antithetical to the high-octane rhetoric spanning the ideological and theological spectrum - from Pat Robertson to Jesse Jackson. Here is a partial list:

God's strength is made perfect in human weakness;
humble yourself and God will exalt you;
he who would be a leader among you must first be your servant;
love your enemies;
pray for those who persecute you;
pray in secret, not publicly;
give to the poor;
God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
the last place at the table;
the widow's mite (the message is that she gave all she had, not great wealth);
the mustard seed (about the smallest amount of genuine faith);
the washing of feet (as demonstrated by Jesus).

These virtues are virtually absent among the "resounding gongs and clanging cymbals" one sees on TV.
If people who bear the label "Christian" want to reduce these embarrassments, which interfere with the proclamation and the hearing of "true religion," they should refrain from sending money to TV preachers and contribute more to their local church.
Local giving not only would allow the giver to better monitor how the money is spent, but also, if the pastor occasionally says something he should not have said, the embarrassment will remain within the walls and not be a rhetorical shot heard around the world.
Pat Robertson eventually apologized for his remarks about assassinating Hugo Chavez. His penance should be to retire and to take his bombastic conservative and liberal colleagues with him.
©2005 Tribune Media Services

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Grieving Mother or Media Manipulator?

When asked, in a recent interview for buzzflash.com, who was to blame for her son’s death in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan blamed President Bush, answering “I think he (President Bush) rushed into this war -–this invasion –- without having proper intelligence. And the reasons he went are so clearly wrong…Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “I don’t think Iraq has anything to do with the war on terror, except now terrorists are crossing the borders to go and kill innocent Iraqis and our troops. So he went almost unilaterally, with very little international support, to invade a country. They didn’t have a plan for the peace or for the occupation of Iraq. “My son was killed by Shiite insurgents. I believe George Bush created the insurgency by his failed policies and that’s why my son was killed.”

As most know by now, Casey Sheehan, a Humvee mechanic with the 1st Calvary, was killed in Sadr City on April 4th of this year. He was only 24 years old. He is and forever will remain an American hero. (buzzflash.com) Now his grieving mother is holding a vigil outside of the western White House in Crawford, Texas, where the President is maintaining the business of running the country while Congress is in summer recess.

Regrettably, Mrs. Sheehan has allowed her grief to become a national spectacle resulting in, 1) her grief looks more like posturing, 2) diminishing her son’s sacrifice, and every other son’s and daughter’s ultimate sacrifice, to a grateful nation and 3) the worst and ugliest part of this national media circus is that Mrs. Sheehan’s “vigil” has been hijacked by extremist left wing groups and figures like moveon.org and Michael Moore who care more about humiliating a Republican president than the grief of Mrs. Sheehan.

In order to help Mrs. Sheehan in her grief and suffering, I will answer some of the questions she has raised. First, she accuses the President of rushing into war without proper intelligence and acting on false claims of WMD in Iraq. President Bush went to the United Nations asking that then Iraqi dictator, Sadaam Hussein, comply with U.N. resolutions (18 in all) regarding the ability of U.N. WMD inspectors to be able to have unlimited access to sites thought to be considered places where WMD’s were being either created or stored.

In response, Hussein kicked out all UN inspectors. President Bush went back to the U.N. a second time, this time asking the council to pass and impose resolution 1441:

Resolution 1441 was the result of seven weeks of intense diplomacy. Initially, the United States insisted that any new resolution include an automatic trigger for military action; that is, although it insisted it already had the legal authority to use force against Iraq (under the doctrine of self-defense and on the basis of previous Security Council resolutions), it wanted the resolution to explicitly authorize U.N. member states to use "all necessary means" if Iraq refused to comply with the resolution's demands. But France, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, insisted that any response to Iraqi noncompliance be determined in a second round of council debates and spelled out in a second resolution.

Resolution 1441 ultimately passed—by a vote of 15-0. Recognizing the continued threat Iraq poses to international peace and security, recalling that Resolution 678 authorized member states to use all necessary means to implement relevant subsequent resolutions, and noting that Resolution 687 imposed conditions on Iraq—with which it has not complied—the council made clear that Iraq "has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions."

It is significant that the council explicitly noted that it was acting under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. Resolution 1441 then mandates the creation of an enhanced inspection regime and lays out the process to be implemented if Iraq fails to comply. Paragraph 4 of the resolution makes clear that false statements, omissions, and failures to cooperate with the requirements of the resolution will be considered a material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12.

Paragraph 11 directs Hans Blix, the executive chairman of UNMOVIC (the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) and Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) to report any Iraqi noncompliance to the Security Council. Paragraph 12 directs the Security Council to convene immediately upon receipt of a report under either Paragraph 4 or Paragraph 11 to determine how to respond. The resolution makes clear that Iraq will face "serious consequences" if it does not comply with the resolution's demands. (http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/)

Mrs. Sheehan, these are not the actions of a president “rushing” to war. These are responsible actions trying to contain a dangerous and severely unbalanced person, Hussein, who invaded two countries (Iran and Kuwait) and boasted of his WMD programs, flouting the U.N. sanctions in its face since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.

Now, Mrs. Sheehan, here is where it gets very ugly. It seems that the sanctions imposed on Iraq, particularly the infamous “Oil–for–Food” program, intended to force Iraq into compliance by only allowing the sale of Iraqi oil to buy food for its citizens, became a corrupt machine that lined the pockets of Hussein, government officials of France, Germany and Russia who were tied to the program and U.N. officials themselves, most notably the son of the President of the U.N., Kofi Anan!

What does this mean to you, me and the rest of America? It meant that some of our strongest allies, due to corruption, would not back the U.N. resolutions they voted for to contain Hussein. No wonder the U.N. wanted John Kerry to defeat Bush - he spoke their language ("I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.''). This lack of union in the U.N., in turn, gave inspiration to jihad terrorists, mostly from Hussein loyalists in Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. Because of a twisted fanatical Muslim belief and corrupt beuruacrats and government leaders, your son, Casey, died.

Mrs. Sheehan, you also said that President Bush acted on false intelligence. It is the same intelligence that Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry and former First Lady, Hilary Rodham Clinton, acted on and voted for in the senate. This is the part of your interview that makes you sound like an advertisement for Mr. Moore’s grossly manipulated and highly inaccurate “documentary”, “Farenheit 9/11”, rather than a grieving mother.

You also accuse the President of acting “alone” in the invasion of Iraq. Here, Mrs. Sheehan, is a list of countries among the willing, accurate as of March 28, 2003:

Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain [1], Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica [2], Denmark, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, United Kingdom, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait [3], Latvia, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palau [4], the Philippines, Poland, Portugal (but parliament may censure the PM), Qatar [5], Romania [6], Rwanda, Slovakia, South Korea (but Parliament won't vote on whether to send troops), Spain, Republic of China (on Taiwan), Turkey, Uganda, the United States, Uzbekistan. Total: 37 confirmed; 10 not confirmed.


Mrs. Sheehan, in your “grief” or manipulation by the left wing extremist groups, you have just offended most of the Free World.

Finally, Mrs. Sheehan, you claim, “My son was killed by Shiite insurgents. I believe George Bush created the insurgency by his failed policies and that’s why my son was killed.” Alas, your son was not killed by insurgents, he was killed by terrorists. He was killed by terrorists who have no respect for life, for liberty or for democracy. Your son, Mrs. Sheehan, died because he believed in respect for life, for liberty and democracy. It is why he re-enlisted into the army knowing he was being sent straight into danger and possibly death.

Unlike the vigil/spectacle you have created, your son, Casey Sheehan, died a noble death for a noble cause. With courage and dignity, Casey Sheehan is the portrait of all American heroes who died for the noble causes that America stands for. The media circus you have created is neither a noble nor a dignified way to remember an American Hero, your son, Casey Sheehan.

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