Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wet Weather

I have refrained from the personal for a while and not troubled you with tales of floods and other natural disasters. If the rain keeps up, we will be heading for our fourth, out of six, all time monthly rainfall totals this year.

I have, for the time being, resumed my duties at the golf course and admit I do enjoy the camaraderie if offers. I am only there about six hours a day for three days a week. That’s plenty and I can definitely feel the difference. My duties are split between the pro shop and the snack bar so it does get a little tense at times. The clubhouse is a remodeled old red barn and overlooks about 150 extremely well manicure acres.

The Ozarks has its drawbacks but the tendency is to overlook everything in the springtime. How anyplace can be so ugly in February and so sublime in June is a constant mystery.

Since I mow four of our twenty acres, it is sometimes necessary to drive between the raindrops just to keep up. Another “time robber” I have is the latest acquisition for the library. Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg came recently—thank you Amazon—and I strongly encourage you to read it with me. His grasp of the big picture is excellent. Don’t expect any “feel good” pap from him.

As I contemplated very soberly the events of sixty-four years ago today, I felt a welling of gratitude to those who participated in the landing at Normandy. The expression, “All gave some and some gave all” was never more appropriate. Coincidently, a link showed up in my inbox with the efforts of a mass choir of high school kids and a middle schooler’s group to boot which I found to be outstanding. If your computer supports a reasonably good feed—downloading at least 400 kps—you should have a very enjoyable experience. It is a well presented piece by some very talented performers. It is shamelessly patriotic and presented with absolutely no apology.

I have one closing suggestion. If you are too young to have firsthand knowledge of the Second World War, I recommend you cultivate the acquaintance of some old codger who does. Whether a participant directly or an observer, any person eighty or over would be likely to have some measure of recall.. Be open to diversity here to enjoy the view from a varied perspective; either sex, various nationalities, any religion or none. This is a rapidly diminishing group so don’t wait too long. Also, respect the fact that some memories are too painful and may be repressed. Most of the folks will happily share recollections and be encouraged by the demonstration of caring.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Friday, June 6, 2008

He is Risen!!!

No, not Him, him! To follow the template laid down by the press and the Comintern, the anointing of Barack Hussein Obama has taken place. In the stampede to create a new messiah, the phalanx of Democrat candidates in waiting was reduced to two and the apparent winner is—drum roll please—well, by now you already know.

There is very little room left under the bus for anyone else to be “thrown.” Grandma was first to go, followed in turn by Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Fr. Pfleger, the Reverend Meeks, and finally the entirety of the congregation and organizational structure of Trinity United Church in Chicago. So far we have heard no disavowal of Louis Farrakhan. No person or persons are exempt from the carnage if there is a hint that it may impede the progress of the chosen one to ascension to the presidency.

The European press, public figures and tin pot dictators world wide are in a state of ecstasy over the news of his survival in the race. They recognize the enormous possibilities an Obama victory in November would have for their own particular narrow frame of interest. The opportunity to continue bullying the world’s greatest superpower would be immeasurably enhanced by his presence in the oval office. No doubt the terrorists in Baghdad would be celebrating in the streets by firing in the air and blowing things up if they were not concerned about drawing the attention of the surge forces. Also, they dare not waste their short supply stores of ammunition on such frivolity.

There is no question that congratulations are in order for the Senator from Illinois. He conducted a masterful campaign and demonstrated a natural gift for the American Art of seeking higher office. It was also evident that he had spent his twenty years honing his skills in Chicago politics to his best advantage. He well understands that to which the electorate responds and implements it with skill. The upcoming convention in Denver will cement the whole affair and act as a “half-time” for this infernal and eternal campaign. Although his electability in the general election remains to be seen, it is probable he will be a formidable foe.

Unlike his final opponent, he treated each and every state (all 57?) as important and campaigned strenuously in each. He also did his homework in the mysterious arena of the “super delegates” and has apparently secured the endorsement of a sufficient number to ensure success at the convention. This is a remarkable achievement for man with a scant three years experience on the national scene. Calling on his record is difficult for the senator since he has called in absent for most of the votes. When not in absentia, he did manage to earn the title of the most liberal voting record holder in the U.S. Senate.

It brings to mind another young lawyer from Illinois who managed to capture the hearts of the people through oratory. Some feel they were poured from the same mold. In fact, his latest serious opponent even called to mind the eventuality that extremely popular and charismatic candidates are subject to assassination.

The only thing missing from the picture is the presence of warts, worry lines and the fatigue brought on by a genuine concern for the state of the union. For the real thing, check out the portrait on the face of a five dollar bill. Almost forgotten is the man who was the featured speaker at Gettysberg (November 19, 1863) Edwin Everett. Billed as a famous orator, he droned on for 13,607 words of flowery oratory to mark the occasion and enhance his reputation.

The president was an afterthought to participate in the dedication ceremony. He used the occasion to state the most widely memorized, repeated and beloved of all presidential addresses. In 271 words he summed up his feeling for the nation, its fallen dead (671,000 by that date) and their contribution to the future of the country. What he sought for the nation was summarized almost parenthetically in the last sentence as, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…” and finally, “shall not perish from the earth.” These hallowed words reflect the feelings of his heart for the dead, his love of the republic, and his prayer for its continuance.

Again we offer our congratulations to the Democrat front runner while urging him to understand his fellow politician from Illinois and allow concern for the United States to be uppermost in his mind.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 40

It would appear that those who are seeking more accurate research and better science on global warming are gaining credibility. Rather than be dismissed, their assertions are being recognized in ever greater numbers. One after another, eminent scientists in a variety of fields are calling for re-evaluation of the spurious findings of faulty computer models. Others are calling to account the actual costs both in dollars and human misery which would result if the AlGoreists were allowed to prevail.

As the elites call for more and more sacrifice on the parts of the common people to abate this manufactured crisis, we find their consumption of the world’s resources on the increase. They have private jets, mega mansions, with their gluttonous use of various energy sources, and do pretty much as they please while encouraging others with less economic advantage to park their cars, tighten their belts and live in the dark.

The following is in the Greenies website and frankly is more mathematically complex than I have the patience for. The “wonder” quote is in the final paragraph.

An excerpt from Netherlands Atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, and an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes:

“I adhere to the Lorenz paradigm because I do not want to forget for a moment that small mistakes of whatever kind on occasion have large consequences. As far as I am concerned, the climate of our planet continuously balances on the verge of chaos. In my opinion, optimistic pronouncements about the stability of the climate system are unwarranted and unprofessional. I prefer modesty.”

Dr. Tennekes’ observation of a “planet continuously balanced on the verge of chaos” is the essence of life on earth. We retired early on Saturday night to better prepare for church activities on Sunday. We had spent the day in hard labor getting the yard, garden, house and the rest of our gifts shaped up and presentable. At 2:30 am, I was awakened with the words, “Honey, get up! I can hear the tornado sirens.” I awoke to the chaos of which he speaks. Heavy winds, lightening, thundering, all accompanied by a deluge of near Biblical proportions.

Although I acceded to my spouse’s wishes, as I wandered from room to room shutting windows and locating various animals, I thought of the good doctor’s reference to chaos. I have been in earthquakes, raging blizzards, sand storms, wild fires, floods, tornadoes and seen the nature of our world at its worst. None of it lasts. In no case is it a permanent condition. The ground settles, the waters recede, and rains quench the fires and the placidity returns. Each of these refreshes the planet and we move on. I see God’s hand in all of this and thank Him for sparing me to go on to the next experience. It may not always be so but I am more than willing to understand that in this life there will be more threats from our world.

John McPhee wrote an excellent book, The Control of Nature, which I recommend. Written over twenty years ago it deals with several notable attempts to alter our environment to ease our lives. His first example is the US Corps of Engineers maintenance of the vital Mississippi watercourse. It deals with locks, and levees, and diversion dams and the Corps’ attempts to keep the river under control. For over a hundred fifty years they have worked on it and when Katrina came with a scant few hours of “chaos” their worst fears were realized; over a thousand dead and a city essentially destroyed. Not just any town but one of giant historical and commercial importance. Our largest port crippled and huge numbers of people displaced..

When –not if—the New Madrid fault reaches the breaking point, the result will be a catastrophe on the Mississippi which will make New Orleans look like a childish exercise. It is simply the way the operation of the planet is. The manmade pride which assures the populace of our superiority will disappear and we will see the results of chaos which the Chinese are currently facing after their earthquake.

Is this yet one more prediction of the gloom and doom variety? No, not really, it is simply an appeal to accept what this magnificent earth has to offer and prepare for the next life. Whenever I think of some of the life threatening events I have endured I also think of sitting on a rock at the edge of a mirror smooth lake high in the Rocky Mountains. The arrangement of the scant trees and shrubs overlooked by craggy outcroppings of rock which are an image in reverse on the water is achingly beautiful. It is a physical definition of serenity.

As a professional traveler, I have experienced every state and some foreign countries. In conversation I am often asked which I find the most beautiful. The answer is always slow and somewhat muddy. It is not because I don’t have favorites; it is because in my recollection of each locality I have a distinct memory of something breathtakingly beautiful. It is not what the natural beauty of each state may be but rather the interpretation of what you see. As an example, one sunny day with huge white clouds in North Dakota, I drove by a huge field of sunflowers in full bloom. They seemed to run from horizon to horizon with no variance of color or intensity. Does that make North Dakota the most beautiful state? Not necessarily, but it certainly doesn’t make it rank near the bottom either.

Returning to Dr. Tennekes’ remarks, wisdom demands we anticipate that natural chaos could well disturb the placid scene before our eyes. It is all part of the ongoing changes on the earth from within and the remarkable effects provided from the extremely fragile atmosphere which surrounds it. When all is said and done there is one certain assurance. The chaos will continue and God will provide.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon