Joe's Place

My thoughts on things

Why do we obsess over the presidential election?

Every four years the U.S. holds a presidential election and you’d think that nothing in this country was more important. We endure the intrusions of 24/7 news coverage and the seemingly endless stream of political ads. I’m agreed that electing a president is serious stuff, but does one elected office deserve this much focus? Did the decisions of just one person get our country to where we are today?

A columnist named Charley Reese back in 1984 penned a great column for the Orlando Sentinel entitled, “545 people are responsible for the mess, but they unite in a common con.” The whole column is well worth the reading, but one quote is particularly appropriate.

Reese wrote, “You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have the constitutional authority to vote n appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. The Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. the Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.”

“One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of 238 million- are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.”

Thank you Charley, that is utterly profound. And think about this. Congress is apparently so arrogant and so full of itself that they insulate their own selves and families from the laws that they pass and foist on you and me. Really? Folks wake up!

America, don’t you think that it makes a lot more sense for us to be spending at least the same amount of time or even more time scrutinizing the candidates for the House or Senate than we do on the president? I think it does and it’s time to start some serious “House” cleaning.

Making the 2016 presidential choice simple

It’s a little less than a month before the presidential election and I’m sure that a vast majority of voters have determined how they’ll vote by now. So this post isn’t for any of you, but it’s for the small minority that are still scratching their heads. And without going through all of the issues and the candidates’ positions on them all, I’ve boiled the whole thing down to just two issues to make selecting a president simple. Here they are:

First, who do you want at the White House helm to nominate the next Supreme Court justice(s)? Second, and maybe more importantly, do you want more Washington intrusion in your life or less?

See, that’s it. Just two issues and your vote for president is now made simple. So you can make the election as easy or as complicated as you want. I’m going for easy! You can thank me later.

Constitutional Right to Carry Upheld in Missouri

Just learned that two weeks ago the Missouri Senate and House successfully overrode Governor Nixon’s veto of Constitutional Right to Carry legislation passed earlier this year (story here) . And not even billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s cash could stop legislators in their effort to ensure the gun rights of law-abiding Missouri citizens (story here). We Texans legally enjoy conceal carry and open carry in the Lone Star state, but it may be time to follow the lead of Missouri and the seven other states with constitutional carry laws. Texas lawmakers in Austin please take note to self!

Help Stop Planned Parenthood

By now, everyone on the planet has seen, or at least heard of, the videos from The Center for Medical Progress exposing Planned Parenthood’s horrific and illegal practice of the selling of baby body parts. The videos are now public and Planned Parenthood should be held accountable and dealt with by our justice system. Several states have begun investigations.

But this whole affair is so abhorrent to me that I feel that I have to do even more to help bring a stop to Planned Parenthood and these awful practices. And that can be accomplished if their sources of funding were to end. Funding from government sources can be stopped through the legislative process. So contact the lawmakers in Washington and let them know where you stand and ask them to end the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. There’s also an online petition at:

Another way of cutting off support to Planned Parenthood is to send a strong message to the corporations and companies that support them. I found a recent list of 77 businesses that directly sponsor Planned Parenthood from And the companies on this list are rather surprising. Several of my favorite retailers are on here like Starbucks, Home Depot, Whole Foods and there’s also Marriott, Disney, Nike, Macy’s and many others.

So I plan to let each of them know that I will no longer purchase their products or services as long as they continue to support Planned Parenthood.  It will be hard to replace them, but businesses will get the message when people hit them in their pocketbook. I hope that you will join me.

Respect authority

The story of the year will likely be about the set of events played out over this summer and also this past week in Ferguson, MO. And as I have watched it all unfold and reflect on it, this unfortunate and yet also horrible story has struck so many emotions in me.

One, sorrow for the community at large, having grown up in Ferguson in the ’60’s and ’70’s and remembering it’s glory. Next, concern and fear having a son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren who make their home there. Then there’s compassion for a family who lost a son in a most unfortunate way. But last, there was and still is the shock at the depth of depravity of citizens supposedly engaged in peaceful protests that turned into hate-filled, out-of-control mobs looting, stealing and destroying public and private property.

Has it now become acceptable to loot, steal and destroy property as part of a protest? Have we as a society finally embraced lawlessness and rejected the respect of authority and the law? Since very few of our leaders today speak out against actions like these, I suppose it now is politically correct to allow the mobs to break the law. I’ve heard some even refer to it as letting them vent their anger. Really? At whose expense do we allow this? More importantly, what’s the message that we’re sending in this? It’s the mob rules.

What a sad state of affairs our society has turned into! I close with a scripture that I pray all social, political and church leaders will begin to shout from their lecterns and pulpits. God’s word is the only thing with the power to cause change.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:1-5 (NIV)

Interesting gift idea

Now I don’t mean to disrespect the millions of men wearing goatees, but as I was surfing the interweb for personal hair trimmers, I stumbled upon this rather menacing, err… interesting item.



The first image that came to mind after looking at this was the villain, Bane, in the Dark Knight Rises.


Not the most attractive or calming image mind you. Seriously though this is the 21st century. Can’t we come up with something else to help you guys with goatees out?

Windows speed up time

It’s the first day of November and a lovely Saturday off for me too. Tonight we set our clocks back and I’m getting ready to change those batteries in the smoke detectors all around the house. So while I’m thinking of maintenance tasks, I can’t think of a better day to perform a quick Windows computer maintenance chore that most of us put off. I’m talking about cleaning up your PC’S temporary files, clearing internet cache and deleting that always burgeoning recycle bin.

Now ignoring these maintenance tasks won’t necessarily shut your computer down, but if not done occasionally they can certainly impact the speed at which your computer interacts with world wide web. I’ve been using a handy utility for quite a few years that does this pretty fast, is easy to use, has a very tiny footprint and best of all is FREE. It’s called the Temporary File Cleaner or TFC.exe. Here’s a summary of what it does:

TFC. or Temp File Cleaner, is a small utility that will clean out all the folders on your computer that house temporary files.  The temp folders that TFC will clean are the Java, Windows Temp Folder, and the Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome, and Safari caches. This tool will clean the folders for all accounts on the computer including the Administrator, NetworkService, and LocalService accounts.

All you do is download the application, run it and it does the job quickly and even gives you feedback of how much space that it cleaned up. Before you run it make sure that you have Administrator privileges on your machine and that you don’t have any important files in your recycle bin, cause they’ll be gone.

Here’s a shortcut to download TFC.exe thanks to the good folks at Do it today and give your cpu a little break!

The Summit 2014

For the first time I attended, via satellite, The Global Leadership Summit presented by the Willow Creek Association the past two days. This was Willow’s 20th annual GLS conference and all that I have got to say is, “Hello, what in the world was I thinking the past 19 years by not attending?” This event was so very outstanding and inspiring to say the least.

As the name implies, the conference is for those in leadership. But if you think that you’re not a leader because you don’t run a company or not-for-profit or a ministry – guess what? If God has placed you over a small group, some event, or as head of a family, you need to hone you leadership gift. Now I won’t try to summarize the entire conference here, there’s plenty of resources that are or will soon be available on-line for that, but I would like to mention a couple of my favorite speakers.

Louie Giglio, Patrick Lencioni, Joseph Grenny and Wilfredo de Jesus presented masterfully and earned my top spots. But frankly all the speakers were great and their insight, passion and heart were captivating. Willow Creek’s Chairman, Pastor Bill Hybels, did a phenomenal job as master of ceremonies over all the proceedings and at the end received well-earned credit for his vision and leadership over The Summit these past years.

If you haven’t attended The Summit before, I would highly recommend that you do so in 2015. At the very least, purchase a few of the audio or videos of the presentations when they become available. I would also like to give out a few props to the host site where I attended, River City Community Church. They did an awesome job of making the attendees feel welcome and the experience so valuable. Well OK, that wasn’t totally un-biased, RCCC is my home church too.

The wages of sin

This week’s knuckle-headed and unnecessary violence in Ferguson, Missouri remind me how very broken and spiritually empty that people are. The unthinkable depths that people can so very quickly reach, with only even a little provoking, are quite shocking to say the least. The pictures of burned businesses and firebombs going off in this middle-class U.S. suburb (that I actually grew up in) bring the long-standing conflicts between peoples going on in the other parts of our world just a little too close to home.

All of this is a grim example that every man is born into this world with a sinful nature and until it is changed through the redemptive work of Jesus and the cross, sin is a terrible and unforgiving path of destruction. People need the heart-change that only faith in Jesus Christ can bring.

Blogging again

Welcome to my redesigned website. It has been quite a while since I took my last site down and even longer since my last blog post. I hope to make regular contributions here.

© 2016 Joe's Place

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑