Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some Make it, Some Don't

Almost every sport has a hall of fame. We go through a lengthy round of offerings each year for candidates to receive those coveted spots in their related sport. Since my bride was born and raised in Cooperstown, New York, we have a special attraction to the ritual there. On this August occasion, the tiny town is turned on its ear. The traffic is unbearable but it doesn’t dampen the excitement of either the locals or the visitors. Related baseball merchandise is featured in every store window and anecdotal conversation is readily available since every resident becomes a baseball expert at that hallowed time.

Thousands jam the single “main drag” and the local ball park hosts a ceremonial game which generally features a couple of major league teams. The cries of the officials calling balls and strikes and the roar of the crowd for a well hit ball fill the air. It’s old time America all over again. That morning, on the steps of the Baseball Hall of Fame on Main Street, the choice of inductees is announced and players generally too old to beat out a bunt single gratefully react to being recognized for their heroics of an earlier day. It’s easy to find. From the flag pole in the intersection of Main and Pioneer Streets go past Augur’s Bookstore (it belonged to Jan’s dad for decades) about a block.

Over beer and hot dogs, the die hard fans criticize the committee for failing to recognize their personal favorite as this year’s nominee. Others maintain that a player named today couldn’t have made it in the past without his lively bat and steroids. The script is pretty much the same from year to year as it has since in inception in 1936.

I’m not certain that Cooperstown represents the “granddaddy of them all” but I am sure it’s close. Given the place in the hearts of Americans for our national pastime, this hall of fame has a special place. As a result we now have over 270 halls of fame in eleven countries. They celebrate every sport from archery to wrestling and odd lots of nearly every category of human and animal endeavor. Victor J. Danlov published a book, “Hall of Fame, Museums” to help you locate them all. If your interest is in bowling, Barbie dolls, or burlesque, he has you covered—or uncovered. There is even a guy in Dallas, “Cockroach Dundee,” who maintains a Cockroach Hall of Fame for that irritating species. He claims to be the third biggest attraction in the D/FW area.

The prompting for this post was supplied by a recent article with the exciting news of the latest nominee for placement in the Toy Hall of Fame in Syracuse, NY—not surprisingly, close to Cooperstown. This venerable institution has decided to honor, in addition to Mr. Potato Head, the bicycle, crayolas and the cardboard box; the stick! The stick, a childhood companion to which each of us may relate. Whether a piece of scrap wood or cut from a willow branch, it inspired us to assign endless imagined identities; spear, ski pole, rifle, baton, lever, sword, or even possibly the basic material for a bow. As children, we found them available in abundance and ever ready to test our imagination. Do kids today still play with sticks? With the inventiveness of the child’s mind, I’ll bet they do.

On my next trip to New York, I think I’ll drop by and see if any other stalwarts from my childhood have shown up to be so honored. Surely they must have a worn out tire, a piece of frayed rope, or the ever venerable fall favorite; a pile of leaves. If the gray beards at this institution can meet in solemn assembly and recognize the value of this enduring child’s toy I must applaud their efforts. Oh for the joys of childhood and the sheer pleasure of a stick.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Was Wrong

That’s not an apology but rather an observation. An apology need only be offered if you have a demonstrated harm and your intention was to render it. We just experienced a period ruled by concepts, perceptions, and conjured reality. I confess only to seeing through much of the mist surrounding the issues and reacting in opposition. My principal error was not realizing that the majority of the people did not understand.

As is so often the case, I credited the electorate with adult capabilities to also recognize the legerdemain and act accordingly. I was wrong. I truly believe that most readers of Zion Beckons understood and did the right thing. But, compared to the tens of millions who did not share your advantage and your personal character we wound up in our minuscule collective effort as a “spit in the ocean.”

Like many of you, I have spent the morning staring at the computer screen in stunned disbelief. Our evening prayers included a request that God’s will be done for the benefit of the nation. This would not be the first time I failed to understand the full impact of “Gods will.” But my trust is ever in Him and I remind you that He continues to be in charge. To ignore His many responses to my selfish desires for healing, improved relationships, relief from alcohol addiction, and other self-recognized problems because they fit my desires should convince me that I can’t always be aware of His will for me—and for that matter the nation. Just because it doesn’t fit my template does not mean He isn’t listening.

Therefore, I shall not attempt to make sense of the matter and continue to fight the good fight and search for comments and opinions which you might not otherwise see.. This is not the first battle I have lost; nor shall it be the last. I have an anecdote for you which I see as an indicator of God trying to elevate my spirits.

I have often mentioned that I converted the porch to an extended office wed to our third bedroom; I also mentioned that I built a covered porch (deck?) which overlooks the Spring River Valley. The design allows me to sit at the computer and compose or move my eyes slightly to the right and look through the window over the expanse of the valley. At the roof line of the deck, I installed several hanging birdfeeders. I installed them so that they are not readily reachable by the predatory cats which we live with. They have been there for a month and I have yet to see the first bird take advantage of my largesse. Amidst cries of “ungrateful wretches” they just haven’t come.

At the depth of my funk over the election this morning, I noted three gold finches enjoying a morning snack. What I take from it is simply this: some things are just more important than others. The world continues to spin, they have located a food source for the winter and this earth does not exist for my personal pleasure and agenda. We shall, however, continue to fight the good fight and since we know the final outcome, shall enjoy every battle.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today the Fat Lady Sings

I have pled before that I truly believe Christianity has a stake in this election. It is vital to our Lord that we raise our voice and assert the truths which we hold so dear. I have occasionally felt guilty over devoting so much verbiage to the contest and my feeble efforts to counteract what I feel is stacked deck by the media and their mavens.

Today, I arose early (5am) and was rewarded by the discovery of a brand new website, written by a man of obvious intellect and far greater experience and perception than I could ever muster. In a mad, mad world, he actually makes sense. In self-defense I should note that I have been upbeat and continued to avoid accepting opinions of people who are trapped in the urban jungles of blue state influence. Possibly, I see his genius in his total agreement with me. If you read what he has to present, I think you will not only agree, but also be enervated by his analysis.

True believers in the fundamental worth of our God-given Constitution and the nation which sprang from it, occasionally suffer from pangs of doubt over the possible outcome of this plebiscite. We have fallen victim to an intentional set up provided by the zealots of Obamunism. So, at the end of the day, let us pray that his evaluation is correct.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

P.S. Don’t just think about it, get off your hands and GO VOTE!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 62

So what has been the cost of the presidential campaign? I don’t mean the dollars which have reached absolutely ridiculous heights. So high in fact, that alone, it could provide the spending impetus which the economy needs to bring us back to normal. My back of the envelope figures suggest a figure in total of well over a billion dollars. Given the projections for each candidate at the moment, I’m rather pleased that so much of it has come from foreign entities. They obviously see some advantage to the candidate which they endorse which escapes me. Assuming an electorate of 160,000,000 it would come to about $6.25 per voter.. That of course does not include the expenditures for state and local office seekers.

The real loss has come from a collection of other matters which I believe are more important than the money. The first casualty has been “truth.” We use euphemisms like “spin” and “shading” to occlude the facts and then toss in a huge dose of critical thinking to produce outright lies. To avoid relating positive aspects of a candidate is as much a lie as striving to conceal one’s own favorite’s bad associations and stated plans. It is a matter of morality and one’s religion to measure each man’s willingness to bend the truth to his own ends. People of faith have little doubt about that which is and that which isn’t. Any failure to embrace honesty is first of all an offense against God inasmuch as He has commanded that we not bear false witness.

The second serious casualty of the campaign has been “civility.” I fully realize the importance of what is on the line in this race but that is no excuse to deeply penetrate the personal lives of spouses, children, and other innocent bystanders. The biggest target has been Sarah Palin and her family. They are admittedly, an imperfect family, just like yours and mine. What it has to do with one’s ability to govern escapes me. We have discarded any sense of decorum to advance political goals. Some of us find that admission of imperfection an endearing quality; others, just one more opportunity to manufacture false truths.

Another victim of the election efforts is transparency. The rule appears to be more in favor of concealing records and data than sharing it with the American people. Would you, as a future employer, consider hiring anyone to a sensitive position who would be reluctant to share information about his academic history, circumstances of his birth, his full military record, health records, his voting record in various assemblies or full information on his associates? We are asked to blindly accept as fact a multitude of claims which could be easily verified if the candidate were willing to have the data released.

So, past the money, we have sacrificed truth, civility and transparency for the opportunity to follow our own selfish reaction to promises and pie-in-the-sky programs which are inconsistent with the Constitution and common sense. God help us all.

The Presidents Speak

I found this thing and decided to share it with you in the interest of keeping a sense of light-heartedness. Click here and you will be up to date on the doings at Mount Rushmore. Go ahead, it would be funnier if it were not so true.

Someone Gets It

Regular readers are aware that I have nearly boundless admiration for Thomas Sowell and his cryptic commentary. The man is a genius in addition to having a perspective which I could never aspire to. Take the time to read his observations; you won’t be disappointed.

Aunt Zeituni

I know the Obama campaign is beyond embarrassment, but this little jewel is too precious to let go. Mark Steyn for the Corner at National Review has some remarks about the emergence of the fugitive aunt.
“Re: Different party, different rules [Mark Steyn]

Mark Levin is right. The Undocumented Auntie isn't even one of the 12, 15, 30, whatever million run-of-the-mill Undocumented-Americans who just wander into the country and decide to stay. She's one of the far more select number—half a million or so—who've been served a deportation order. She is, in law, not merely an illegal immigrant but what ICE call a "fugitive alien".

So when John Conyers gets huffy about "leaks", is it even possible to "leak" that someone's a "fugitive"? When regular boring US citizens are fugitives, they get pasted up on Post Office walls and written up in the papers. And, in the event that someone discovers that the guy on the lam is holed up at 27b Elm Street, there's not usually a wave of outrage on the appalling breach of the fugitive's privacy rights.

If I were Joe the Plumber, I'd ask Aunt Zeituni if I could move in. It's his best chance of a quiet life.”

And Finally

This is it! The hew and cry is nearly over and it’s our turn. We’ve heard it all; the promises, the platitudes, the twisting and the turning and now it’s up to us to sort it out and make a decision. There is much on the line which will have ramifications far beyond the results tomorrow. The future of the republic hangs in the balance and we have the choice of two men. By definition, they are men and as a consequence, have imperfections which we must either embrace or ignore. Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, neither one is a “Messiah.”
As I rank those things which I feel are most important, I have made a clear cut decision. In consideration of the unborn and a desire to offer them the protection which God would have me insist on; to continue the war on terror for the benefit of my grandchildren; to protect my rights for self-defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment; and the furtherance of the enjoyment of liberty; I have no other choice but to vote for McCain/Palin.

If the above issues are important to you as well, I would encourage you to do the same. Either way, it is important that you be counted for whatever attitudes you hold.. Please join me tomorrow and—VOTE!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Rev. James David Manning

I offer this link without apology for anything Rev. Manning says. This is a remarkable sermon and for the most of us, very unusual. It is refreshing even though it does have its coarse moments. As they say, it’s a cultural thing.

This link will take you to Pat Dollard’s website. When it comes up, scroll to the second picture and click on play. Settle back and enjoy listening to a preacher “tell it like it is.” I predict you will find this a singular event in a campaign which has lasted forever.

I became more comfortable watching when I scrolled down and eliminated the comments and tags. That of course is up to you. I found it easier to concentrate on what he had to say. If you have any interest in comments, after you view the video, you may continue to scroll and there they are.

I’m pretty well convinced you will have an idea of how Rev. Manning feels about things before it’s over.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stop Killing Babies!

How does one come to grips with 40,000,000 unborn babies? I listen to this pundit and the other and they all seem to have a somewhat different opinion about what the candidates have as their primary thrust. Some say it’s the economy, some claim it’s the war, others claim it’s about taxes. My first, foremost, and final concern is the lives of the unborn.

As you know by now, I have five children, twenty grandchildren, and odds and ends of in-laws and “used to be’s” which I still consider a significant part of our extended family. Each one of these individuals is precious to me. I cannot imagine making the “choice” to not have any of them.. Each one is an integral part of the whole which we call; family. When personal disaster strikes and for whatever reason one ceases to be present, it causes me to grieve. I trouble God for the reasons for an individual’s departure whether it be by reason of death, divorce, alienation or what have you. In the midst of the pain of their loss I often ponder how anyone could willingly cause the death of any one for any reason.

I have been privileged in my life to know many people in the health care field. Although sometimes critical of their methods and their tendency to over treat I must confess that each of them genuinely sought to provide their best to whoever their patient might have been. They were dedicated to making everything whole. They, to an individual, sought the best in their power to restore good health, sometimes in the face of unconquerable odds. I strongly object to them being forced, in many cases against their will, to participate in the genocide of America’s youngest, most vulnerable citizens.

I confess to extreme intolerance of any person who would “lead” our country with this issue as a centerpiece of his campaign. Abortion is murder! Not only does our law prevent the premeditated taking of life, it is also a cornerstone of the instructions we have received from our scriptures. What part of “thou shalt not kill” do these people not understand? The cowardly attempt to shroud the issue in euphemisms like “choice” is not acceptable. Make your decisions on Tuesday based on the reality of the situation; they want to kill the children. They have killed the children. They wish to kill more of the children.

Even if Obama were everything which he claims to be and all my other fears—and they are many—were baseless, the abortion issue would be the deal breaker for me. I have written negatively about many other facets of his plans and associations but they shrink to insignificance when compared to the vile continuation of the murder of the unborn.

He has made no effort to downplay his eagerness to continue this policy. He has issued no denials of his position. He has not even tried very hard to soften the issue in platitudes and false promises. It is a promise which enthralls his base and lacking it would be a disaster for his hopes.

It is unpleasant to talk about but it is necessary. I have found that I have a voice to converse with complete strangers about it. I am not always received well and frankly I don’t care. This is matter which is far too important to ignore. If we can make one person fully understand this issue then it is my belief that we have an obligation—no a duty—to do just that.

This has occupied my mind since the beginning and I find myself encountering precious little children everywhere I go and shudder to think that we could possibly been deprived of their presence because of “choice.” It is a resource we cannot afford to ignore. It’s not that we need these tots for their numbers or other purposes; we need them to keep us focused on what this life is all about. If any man can ignore or for that matter encourage the deaths of 40,000,000 how could he possibly be entrusted with the well-being of over 300,000,000 others? This is serious stuff. We are morally obligated to do everything in our power, no matter how slight in the big picture, to prevent this travesty.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon