Columbine, 10 years later

It is hard to believe but tomorrow, April 20th, will mark the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst school shootings in history.  Up until 9/11, it was probably the most shocking news story I have experienced in my life.  Prior to Columbine, there were a few other school shootings but this one really hit home because of the brutality of the crime.  Who can forget the images of those kids running away from the building or those heart breaking interviews of the victim’s families and the survivors.  Very few news stories have made me cry and this was one of them.  I think a lot of people in America wanted to be there and give those poor families and kids a hug.

The sad part about this awful tragedy is that it pretty much has started a wave of school shootings in this country and the world.  Since Columbine, there have been even deadlier attacks and I find it very disturbing that many of  the shooters made reference to Columbine in their final suicide notes or online journals.  It is like Columbine is the model for which all school shootings should be patterned after. Equally disturbing to me is the notion that some kid or kids will want to do something even more dramatic and kill many more students.  Unfortunately, there are probably kids out there who are thinking about that right now.

In any high school or college, you are going to have a select group of kids who are somewhat different or outsiders.  It has always been like that and always will be.  Young people can have very fragile emotions and personalities and school administrators and teachers need to understand that. They are not there to just to teach a student about a particular subject.  They can also be a big influence in a young person’s life as well as being someone who raises the red flag when something does not seem right.  In many cases of school shootings,  these red flags are missed.

This Monday, April 20th, I encourage everyone to remember the victims of this massacre and keep the the families and students who survived this in your thoughts and prayers.  For many families and young people, their lives will never be the same again.

Kudos to the tea party participants

Last Wednesday, it was refreshing to see the huge number of Americans at these tea parties gatherings around the nation.  Due to my schedule,  I could not attend our local gathering in St. Paul but I was certainly there in spirit. It is about time that people in this country call out the president and members of Congress for their irresponsible deficit spending habits.  They are dealing with OUR hard earned money and should be held accountable for their policies.

This type of behavior is certainly not something new.  Both parties have been guilty of  reckless spending for several years but this new administration is certainly a prime example of what running up the deficit means. No administration has even come close to spending as much as they have. When  and individual maxes out his or her credit card, it is very irresponsible to go pick up another card and max that one out as well! Government needs to get a better control of their financial house before they ruin this country. I have never seen any cases where big government spending actually pays off for the long term.  It has been proven time and time again that it just does not work but the frustrating thing is that our elected officials in Washington just do not get it.  These bailouts and stimulus packages are just short term band aids for the economy.

The most recent stimulus package which was rammed down our throats and was very partisan is a prime example of why people are so upset with the dealings of Washington.  It has been a few months since this ripoff package was announced and I still see the job losses in this country increasing every month with no end in sight.  What kind of stimulus package is this? In my opinion, a stimulus package jump starts the economy right away and I am not very optimistic it will for this year. It will probably go down as another failed policy.

It was very unfortunate that some members of the left wing press had the nerve to criticize these gatherings. In my mind, these people are not the whiners that they were  described as being.  They are true patriotics of this country and deserve credit for exercising their freedom of speech.  Pay attention Washington,  November 2010 is coming up fast!

A great story on Easter Sunday, the Captain is free!

Every once in awhile, a story hits the news headlines that makes you just want to jump up and give a high five to the person sitting in the same room as you. These stories have been far and few between in recent days and months.  Nearly all the big stories have been about the poor economy, job losses, the wars and recently, the string of mass shootings.  Sometimes I just wonder what will come next!! The news simply gets worse and worse each day. However, yesterday  a story broke which gives hope to what is good in the world with the story about the rescue of the Captain Richard Phillips.

Like many people, I have been just a little more than interested in the story since it involved a person making a personal sacrifice of himself so that others could be set free.  I knew in the back of mind that he would eventually be freed but I also feared the worst.  Suppose they brought him to shore and and the terrorist group, Al Qaeda got a hold of him?  His chances of survival would of been almost zero.  We had to do something quickly and kudos to the brave Navy Seals for carrying out this mission.  And you really have to give credit to the President for making the right call on this one.  We need to be tough on these terrorists and thugs and I am glad he made the decision to use force.  Hopefully this will send a message to other groups who try to mess with us.

For a change, it is nice to see the good guys beat the bad guys. This story really made my day along with many millions of Americans. This is one Easter Sunday not to be forgotten.

Remembering a true role model this Easter

If  someone were to go out to the streets and interview people about who was probably the biggest role model of their lives, you would probably get a wide assortment of answers.  I would think many people would say their parents, others would mention a famous athlete, actor or president.  I really wonder how many people would list as their biggest role model, a man that we pay tribute to this Easter, Jesus Christ.

I know many people out there have various beliefs and I certainly respect that but whether you are a believer or not, you have to admit, very few people in history have had a bigger impact on the world than Jesus.  I strongly believe that his teachings, which are mentioned several times in the New Testament, are pretty much the blueprint for a person to live his or her life.  So many of his teachings were  about love, forgiveness, reaching out to others in need and humility.  All of these things can be applied to everyday situations. Imagine how much better society would be if people actually thought highly of Jesus and followed his teachings.

Our current economic crisis can be traced to one thing, greed.  So many people in our country are absolutely obsessed with picking up wealth that they will do anything to obtain it even if it means at the expense of someone else.  Jesus clearly warned people about this and warned that wealth is really only a temporary thing. It can be lost in a second.  Oh,  how true that is! It is much better to store your treasures in heaven.  There is a saying that money is the root of all evil. The dangers of greed are mentioned  several times in the Bible.  Sooner or later, it catches up with people.

I still believe there is a place in society for people with good character, integrity, honesty and the willingness to be humble and put other people’s needs ahead of your own.  That is what Jesus was all about.  He is the perfect role model of all generations of people. This country would be a much better place to live and have fewer problems like it has today if people actually got serious about following Jesus’ blueprint for life.

A real Cinderella story in college sports

Hardly anyone noticed, but a nice story took place last weekend about an underdog hockey team having success and making a huge run to the national title. The team is none other than my alma mater, Bemidji State.

I know that college hockey is not a glamorous sport and hardly gets any pub but this story really deserves some national attention.  We have several division 1 hockey schools here in Minnesota. Bemidji State just became a division 1 hockey school a few years ago and is mainly regarded as the little upstart program which takes a backseat to some of the bigger programs in the state like the Minnesota Gophers.  The Gophers have the largest program in the state and are able to recruit some of the best talent. Their games are on a regional sports network and they are covered by the media here like a pro sports team.  Meanwhile, Bemidji St. is left scrambling for players from Canada and northern Minnesota and their budget is not even close to being what the Gophers is.  Yet they are in the frozen four and the Gophers once again are sitting at home after another underachieving season.

It is always refreshing to see these overachieving teams come along in sports. This Thursday, I will be glued to my television watching my former school compete in the national semis. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that this day would ever happen. Go Beavers!!!

Government needs to stay out of private business

Last week,  the head dog at GM, Rick Wagoner, was essentially fired by the White House.  His firing was well deserved since he pretty much ran GM into the ground.  The share price of the company fell dramatically under his watch and many workers lost their jobs.  However, the funny thing is that a man with very little if any business experience, is now calling the shots and appointing who is going to run the company. We are talking about none other than the anointed one, President Barack Obama.  I am sure his group of experts can really fix all of their problems. Yea right!!

Another thing that has really puzzled me is why did the CEO of GM get axed and not some of the CEO’s of Wall Street. Their performances are just as bad and they are getting bailed out by taxpayers as well. I believe we have a double standard going on here!

I have never believed that government should get heavily involved in a private business.  Their role should pretty much be as a referee and not a player in a companies business.  History has taught us that most government run businesses are run poorly.  Exactly how effective is it to have some politician or bureaucrat from Washington tell the company what to do when they have no idea what to do in the first place.   Instead the board of directors and management should be calling the shots and if they fail, so be it. That is just the way capitalism works. It is not perfect but it sure beats the socialist way of having the government dictate things.