***The Hurley Ticker*** "If I spend all the money I have at Walmart, I will save more than I make." -early morning radio Search & Win

Monday, August 31, 2009

Art... Expensive, yet Edifying

So today we bought "school supplies" for Matt... which for two college-level art classes costs approximately $265. Yeah. However, while we were spewing money at Hobby Lobby, I found a lovely painting (ok, ok, it's only a print, but still!) for half price! So $50 of birthday money later (thanks, Grandpa!) we are the proud owners of a lovely piece of art... in addition to roughly 10 million "different" pencils.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coming Soon:

Pictures of the new floor!!

Maybe tomorrow.

Probably the next day.

Wait, it's already 10:40pm? Hmm.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Three years today! It's interesting to see how far we've come from those days of marriage counseling. If you haven't watched the video below, today would be a great to see it, in honor of our marriage! Hurrah!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marriage... or should I say "Mawage"

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Honorable Sir...

I have never written to any of my representatives before. For the most part, the American system works well and gives me ample opportunity to voice my opinion by casting a ballot. If the ballot shows I am in the minority, then it is rarely appropriate for me to try to impose my will or views or political agendas on the majority. Even in the ways that the American representative system is weak, it far exceeds the freedom and justice of any other nation in the world today, and I dare say most in history. For that reason, I've let the ballots speak for themselves in the past.

This is the exception. Not for the sake of imposing the views of the few onto the lives of the many, but for the sake of informing the many of their power to help the weak.

I've recently come across the plight of Gao Zhisheng. He has been repeatedly harassed, intimidated, silenced, threatened, kidnapped and tortured for great lengths of time by the Communist government of China. There is even reason to believe that he has survived assassination attempts disguised as accidents. His crime is defending the defenseless. He is a self-taught attorney who has made a habit of defending the poor and defenseless free of charge. He has been honored for his integrity and professionalism a number of times by his own countrymen. He has been voted one of the 10 best lawyers in all of China. Yet, it was his defense of Falun Gong practitioners (a form of the Buddhist school) in 2004 which instigated persecution by his own government. The judges arbitrarily refused to hear his case, so he published an open letter to President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao and the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Wen Jiabao begging them to end the persecution of the Falun Gong practitioners he had attempted to defend. Within 3 months of this publication, his license to practice law had been suspended, his law office closed, his family put under 24-hour police surveillance, and his life threatened by government officials.

Since this time, Mr. Zhisheng has been abducted and tortured in ways that make water-boarding seem like a party game. His wife and children were harassed and abused by the Chinese police until they were granted asylum in the United States, where I presume they remain relatively unmolested.

These are certainly not all of the details, nor is Mr. Zhisheng the only rights defense attorney who has been so viciously savaged by the Communist Party. This is only one circumstance, but it speaks of the rampant brutality and utter disdain for human dignity that characterizes the modern Chinese government and Communism as a doctrine. This is only one of certainly hundreds of recent atrocities, which in turn probably represent thousands of successfully covered-up abuses.

If we as free intellectuals are so appalled by such trivialities as water-boarding, then the tortures that are the regular practice of the Chinese government should be entirely unacceptable. And they are. If we are to indenture ourselves to the Chinese to the tune of $2-3 trillion, we ought at least to have the foresight to change the unconscionable sadism of our masters before we are deeded to them.

Most importantly, however, I fear them. “Therefore I swear by God that I will seek out this man whom I fear until I find him, and strike him on the mouth. ...Because I am afraid of him...and no man should leave in the universe anything of which he is afraid. Who would condescend to strike down the mere things that he does not fear? Who would debase himself to be merely brave, like any common prizefighter? Who would stoop to be fearless—like a tree? Fight the thing that you fear,” (from The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton).

The current situation of Gao Zhisheng grieves my heart as a Christian brother, as a Marine, as a free American, and as a civilized human being. His is certainly not the first case of abuse that I've heard about, nor is it necessarily the most atrocious. On the one hand I am embarrassed that I must write this letter from a feeling of guilt for my lack of concern about past atrocities, but on the other hand I refuse to be paralyzed by that embarrassment lest I perpetuate my apathy.

As a Christian, I must honor my God and “grieve with those who grieve.” The Bible commands me to “do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with [my] God” (Micah 6:8). It is that justice and mercy that cause me to beg for this man's rescue. It is that humility that causes me to repent of past apathy.

As a Marine, I so willingly risked life and limb for freedom. Freedom for me, for my countrymen, and for others who could not fight for themselves. I wish that I could risk life and limb to affect the rescue of this one man, but that is not within my power, and that wounds me.

As a free American, I enjoy those inalienable rights which are endowed to all men by their Creator. I enjoy the sacred protection of those rights while others have them robbed away by evil, vicious men. We are indebted to our forbears who spilled blood and tears, who forsook home and comfort and renown so that we may keep our blood and tears, so that we may enjoy comfort and home, so that we may enjoy their renown as champions of freedom.

As a civilized human being, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering that this man has endured and continues to endure. Such debasement and brutal indignity ought to be railed against by any sentient being. Even animals will fight tooth and nail to escape torturous conditions. We humans should be so miffed at the degradation of members of our own race as we are the displacement of the “wood owl.”

America's own history of justice, of freedom, of personal sacrifice, of courage, and of compassion gives us a unique right, and even a duty to oppose tyranny, barbarism, and arbitrary injustice wherever it may be found. We have saved ourselves so that we might save others.

“'Who would condescend to strike down the mere things that he does not fear? Who would debase himself to be merely brave, like any common prizefighter? Who would stoop to be fearless—like a tree? Fight the thing that you fear. You remember the old tale of the English clergyman who gave the last rites to the brigand of Sicily, and how on his death-bed the great robber said, 'I can give you no money, but I can give you advice for a lifetime: your thumb on the blade, and strike upwards.' So I say to you, strike upwards, if you strike at the stars... You shall see him a falling star,' said Syme, and put on his hat.

'Young man,' said the Professor pleasantly, 'I am amused to observe that you think I am a coward. As to that I will say only one word, and that shall be entirely in the manner of your own philosophical rhetoric. You think that it is possible to pull down the [Central Anarchist Council]. I know that it is impossible, and I am going to try it...'”

In humble service,

Matthew Hurley


This man is currently, as I write this, being tortured again by Communist China because he chose to decry the persecution of Christians in China. He has been kidnapped by the government several times and held for torture. The first time was for 50 days. And I can't even give up an hour each morning to read my Bible.

I'm going to begin writing a letter to my representatives. I'll post it here when I'm done.

God help me.