Saturday, January 31, 2009
The people at CatholicVote.com have a marvelous pro-life commercial. In 41 seconds, it exemplifies the best of arguments for the sustenance of prenatal life. I am grateful to them for their efforts and the effectiveness of their message. Please click on the link and invest less than a minute to watch it.
There is a fly-in-the-ointment however. NBC refuses to run it in the scheduled spot during the game on specious grounds.. They claim they are not interested in ads of “political advocacy or issues.” What they are really saying is that they are not interested in any ad which goes against the leftist grain. If it does not fit the insidious framework of backing every lunatic leftist cause, they will censor it.
They have devoted endless hours of air time attacking the war in Iraq using liberally the casualty figures as justification. The number of killed over six years of war comes to a little under 5,000; in the exact same time frame, the number of babies in the US, uselessly killed, is tallied at just over 7,500,000. Where is the moral equivalence?
Along the same line is an AP report on a California woman who has delivered eight (!!!) babies to augment her existing six. The occurrence of octuplets is extremely rare. For them all to be live births is even rarer. Only one of the children required additional oxygen after birth. The other children, all under ten, are extremely excited about the eight newly born.
In a moment of editorializing by the reporter, the question was raised as to why she did not abort a few of the babies prior to the birth. To even suggest it is, I believe, barbaric. The attending doctor was questioned about it and said, in effect, that he was there to preserve life and not act as “population police.” All congratulations to the family and also to the doctor. God has smiled.
I find the continued murder of the young increasingly tiresome. I also see it as the greatest threat to our country. Some may be concerned about floods, fires, earthquakes, meteors and wayward comets resulting in the ultimate destruction of the planet but I rather believe the elimination of our most valuable resource, children, to be a far greater threat. We must be vocal in our opposition to this genocide. It has wrought far more deaths than the Holocaust, the terrors of the Gulag, and all the tin-pot dictators of Africa combined. It totals close to 40,000,000 and counting. Act now and do your part no matter how small it may seem to you at the time. Be heard!
In His abiding love,
Friday, January 30, 2009
President Barack Obama has signed an executive order banning torture. This comes none too soon. I recently, through a desire to “blend” with a family activity, sat through a complete showing of “American Idol.” I presume that this will be included in the ban along with the bulk of ABC’s programming.
It will also come as a setback for mediocre cooks who insist that every dish has its measure of cheese. There are some of us who consider this an insult and an affront to our ability to recognize a foodstuff for what it actually is when not disguised by the cheese. This would also apply to pepper, ground and diced chilies, which have become the ubiquitous seasoning of choice in so many kitchens. These chefs have annoyed us long enough by tortuously training our taste buds to only recognize these two distinct flavors. I recently ordered a T-bone at the Olive Garden and requested that the proscribed sauce and garnish be left in the kitchen. In essence, I challenged the chef to demonstrate that he could actually grill a piece of good meat with out using his usual crutches to mask the taste. He could! It was wonderful.
I am not really familiar with the exact definition of “torture” so it is difficult to say whether it includes following a vehicle for sixteen miles of windy road with his left turn signal on. I am certain, however, that it does cover having to endure a tailgater at night with his high beam headlights reflecting their brilliance in your rear vision mirrors.
Will this ukase also extend to the preacher who comes to the pulpit, ill prepared, rife with personal unconnected anecdotes, who drones on and on and does so until about 12:30pm.? Also eligible will be aldermen, school board members, board chairmen, politicians, lawyers, and others who subject us to their brilliance unmercifully. Without a doubt it will include the individual who, when addressed with the question, “How are you?’ responds, not with a summation (“Fine!") but with a litany of medical complaints that would embarrass a hospital chart. If the preceding is not torture, I don’t know what is.
Finally, the torture which would extract state secrets from the most dedicated terrorist is the attendance at a recital of fledgling pianists who play a repetitious repertoire of pieces designed more to demonstrate fingering techniques than to entertain. In extremis it would be violins. God forbid a drum recital.
If this is what our new administration has in mind; then I cry “Huzzah!” If, on the other hand, he is suggesting that our security services not use every tool in the box to insure the safety of every American, then I must disagree. Our Constitution is very clear on this matter in the first sentence of the preamble. “…., insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, …” these are the responsibilities the federal government assumes. There is no restrictive phrasing accompanying these words. If it supports these issues, then do it.
In His abiding love,
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The left has belabored us for the last eight years with the cry of “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Now suddenly, that saw is no longer valid when legitimate dissent comes from thinking conservatives in opposition to some of the suicidal (national) proposals to come from the congress and the white house. Reasoned complaints over policy have been greeted as radical rants and diatribes when the authors are merely stating the truth.
Under furious attack are the talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and others for their dissection of issues relative to the proposed “bail out.” They, rightly, question the need to adopt long term fiscal policies with the potential to bankrupt the nation as a response to the immediate needs of the current downturn. These objections are then portrayed as “treasonous”, and unfair to the new president.
A former president had a comment when questioned on a similar matter:
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”
“Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star”, 149
May 7, 1918
An anonymous poster on Andrew Breitbart’s (“Big Hollywood”) blog offered a comparison of how far we should go in supporting our new chief executive. I read the list and have come to the conclusion that it is valid and I shall comply. See what you think:
“America wanted change and we got it. Apparently the first thing that changed is that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism. Rush Limbaugh found that out when he was accused of wanting the President to fail. How dare he not support our President! According to Jon Stewart what Rush said was almost treasonous..
As someone who did not vote for President Obama, I don’t want to be lumped in with the haters, so here is a list of examples showing just how much I support our President:
1. I support him as much as Code Pink supports our troops.
2. I support him as much as N.O.W. supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
3. I support him as much as the Hollywood community supported Theo Van Gogh.
4. I support him as much as Nancy Pelosi supports the Catholic Church’s teachings on life.
5. I support him as much as Al Gore supports cutting down on his personal carbon footprint to save the world.
6. I support him as much as John Edwards supports The National Enquirer’s right to publish pictures of his girlfriend and baby.
7. I support him as much as Western gay rights groups support Mehdi Kazemi.
8. I support him as much as the Castro brothers support Oscar Biscet’s right to free speech.
9. I support him as much as Ted Kennedy supports renewable wind energy off the coast of his summer mansion.
10. I support him as much as Bill Clinton supports Hillary’s ambitions for higher office.
11. I support him as much as the National Education Association supports the rights of students and parents to get a quality education over the security of a teacher’s job.
12. I support him just as much as he supports the right of a baby who survives an abortion to not spend its only living moments waiting to die in a storage room.
I hope that clears everything up. Now could someone please tell me what time the oceans are going to start receding because I’d really hate to miss that one?”
It all boils down to whose “ox is being gored.” A former president once quipped, “If you can’t stand the heat; get out of the kitchen.” He was a Democrat back in the day when you could find a Democrat with principal. Yes children, they did actually exist. Like all good dinosaurs, they have joined the dodo bird and are now essentially extinct.
In His abiding love,
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
My first exposure to the VLA was just before sundown and I was prevented from further investigation or entry to the grounds. This trip, following US 60, was earlier in the day so I was able to really get a feel for the installation. The individual radio telescopes, with a dish 82’ wide, are capable of a resolution at its highest (43GHz) equivalent to seeing a golf ball at 100 miles. In a complex computer aided computation, triangulation of distances is possible with great accuracy along with the ability to locate objects otherwise unobserved. We have come a long way from two tin cans connected by a string.
The project, authorized by congress in 1972, and ready for use four years later cost $78,578.000, came in at budget and a year early. The bill came to roughly $1 per taxpayer. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.. There is a marvelous small Visitor’s Center on the grounds complete with a self guided walk among the various features.
To explain how these work, I shall rely upon a direct quote: “The VLA is an interferometer; this means that it operates by multiplying the data from each pair of telescopes together to form interference patterns. The structure of those interference patterns, and how they change with time as the earth rotates, reflect the structure of radio sources on the sky: we can take these patterns and use a mathematical technique called the Fourier transform to make maps.”
Speaking of maps: in the visitor’s center is an enlarged representation of a patch of sky which approximates the area that one might cover with the extended hand at arm’s length, which is so dense with various objects it defies counting. It is enlarged to about 24 sq. ft..
At ground level there is an impressive collection of interconnected railroad tracks for the express purpose of repositioning these telescopes. At 230 tons each, that is an operation which would be worth watching. In addition to the 27 largest units there are also various and sundry other smaller facilities which take advantage of the clarity of the mountain air—the facility is at an average of 6700’ elevation.
The most arresting aspect of this little adventure was the heightened awareness of how immense our universe is. Many of the dots mentioned on the map were representative of complete solar systems—some even far larger than ours. I am ever impressed by the vastness of God’s Creation and the puniness of man. What chutzpah to believe that we are in control. The delicate balance required to provide a suitable habitation for humans on this earth requires a driving force. I, having seen this, am all the more convinced of divinity in its creation.
In His abiding love,
Well, it’s that time of year again. The noble savages of the National Football League have striven mightily and it has boiled down to two opponents in the annual championship game on February 1. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals will face off in an epic struggle to determine the mightiest of the titans in their sport.
Some of you will be stocking up on provisions for the game and making certain that your view of the screen will be unimpeded. You probably already have your chips, dips, and other food stuffs common to the tailgate brigade all ready to go. But, as usual, there is a competitive event sharing the time slot this coming Sunday.
For those of you who can’t abide the sight of full grown adult millionaires knocking each other silly I have my annual suggestion. Turn on the Animal Planet Network at 6pm EST on Sunday and enjoy the thrills of the Puppy Bowl. Watch a variety of mutts and pedigreed pooches struggle for primacy in the possession of squeaky toys in a rough tumble all out struggle to capture the title of the “King of Kute.”
All the participants are subject to a severe age restriction (under 6 months) and the referee’s primary duty is keeping the gridiron clean. As usual there will be a “puppy cam” positioned upward under the water dish for intimate looks at the drinkers. The half-time show will feature a bevy of beauties from the kitty corral. Yes guys, they are as naked as they day they were born. Come to think of it, so are the puppies.
If football is not your cup of tea I heartily recommend the spills and chills of the Annual Puppy Bowl. I will be viewing it as an annual reminder that there are some things in life which are more important than professional sports. Enjoy!
In His abiding love,
Monday, January 26, 2009
First, my apologies for my failure to find the facilities and the time to post for the last week; I confess that being covered up with grandkids was more of a distraction than I had anticipated. After the “great race” in Phoenix, I drove to Tucson to join in the confusion of being with the son’s family and the tile setters. They were in the process of replacing all of the tile in the house with new porcelain flooring. When I found the commode in the guest bathtub, the refrigerator in the living room and the washer dryer pair missing from the utility room I astutely recognized that something was amok. I was, however, aware that I shared the inconvenience with every member of the family. We still were able to have too much to eat and some wonderful “get reacquainted” time.
On Wednesday, I plotted a new route to completely eliminate Phoenix from my route to Las Vegas. I would much rather drive fifteen miles extra and avoid hours spent in bumper to bumper traffic on clogged freeways and signal light littered side streets. By diverting around the western perimeter of the city, I became reminded of the importance of the cotton crops so vital to agriculture in that end of the world. They don’t call certain cottons “Pima” (that’s the name of the county) for no reason. For those who are not regular visitors, that part of Arizona is perfectly flat and laid in traditional mile by mile squares with a cotton gin for every four square miles. Were it not for the background of mountains, one might easily think they were back in the fertile delta lands of Mississippi.
Arrival in Las Vegas was heralded by five grandkids, all ten or under, who provided the principal entertainment. Their parents and grandmother provide an intense level of activity commensurate with their energy and with emphasis on constant learning and sound direction. Don’t tell them, but they are far better at this than I was as a young father. As an observer of the “home schooling” process, the piano lessons, the prayers, and the physical exertions of play I tired rapidly. I am grateful for my new found insight into their daily regimen.
On Friday night, I joined my son-in-law, Doug Koch, for street ministry at the Fremont Street Experience. I met him and we went downtown under the glaring lights of the Casinos and the lighted cover showing brilliant programs of general interest overhead. As the evening wore on, the crowd grew and the representatives of Christ met them with their tracts and working boards to promote the gospel. To carry the message they have perfected techniques to engage the passerby and stand their ground in the “belly of the beast” to do so. There were seven or eight of us there to answer questions about salvation and provoke thought on this vital issue. Their goal is not to increase the numbers of some particular congregation or sect but rather to raise general individual awareness and create the desire to pursue the gospel beyond “glitter gulch.” Their purpose is not so much to preach against the obvious presence of sin in that venue, but, to extol the virtues of concentration on the afterlife. All in all, they are a happy, joyous, and gregarious group with their full focus on Jesus Christ.
As we stood there talking to people, the din of the casinos horns, bells and whistles were ever present and at least half of the thousands were carrying some sort of alcoholic beverages. I was encouraged to observe no overt untoward behavior or taunting of the participants. There was some jocular questioning but mostly in the spirit of location and the general humor was good. Doug’s physical presence (6’3” and 270 pounds) may have had a dampening affect. His outward appearance exudes the Christian expression which resides in the inner man. In this type of ministry, he is perfectly adapted. I thank God to have such a man for a son-in-law.
I departed Las Vegas about noon on Saturday, "crashed" in Santa Rosa, NM, and arrived home about 10:45 Sunday night, just before Jan came home from work. 1400 miles without incident with the only recorded damage to my Discover card balance. God is good!
Keeping a promise
The new president has fulfilled a few of his campaign promises and predictably raised the ire of Christians and conservatives (is that redundant?) alike. He has essentially nullified the ban on financing abortion for those abroad and any executive orders extant to protect the late term babies from certain death. Obviously I am distressed by his desire to kill babies to fulfill his obligation to the lobby of death for the unborn. Simply stated; it is more important for him to demonstrate loyalty to those who helped pay his bills during the campaign than it is to protect the lives of all of God’s creatures. It was one of his first orders of business. While keeping one’s obligations current is laudable, this is a considerable slap in the face to those of us who cherish life by making it the absolute first order of business. Ed. note: How fitting that he should sign it during Sanctity of Human Life Month.
In a further action, he also made an executive order to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay. This is interesting because of the conflict with the aforementioned action. We are willing to afford full rights and unearned privileges to those who are sworn to kill us but are reluctant to save the lives of a million innocents annually who can only bring us joy and the wealth of their future contribution to society. At least this action is virtually unenforceable. A location for their disposition will be necessary and the protests against having these miscreants in their backyard will make a site location nearly impossible. It will drag on like a slow cancer with little chance of a solution on the horizon. For that we can give thanks yet again.
I freely admit that I made no effort to personally observe the festivities in Washington last Tuesday. Frankly, I didn’t have the stomach for it. I did hear a couple of interesting observations however. One was regarding the botched ceremony at the swearing in. Someone suggested we should rename it the “Oaf” of office.
The other concerned the Nigerian delegation that were apparently in native dress and marched in the parade. I heard a tape of the “music” they were chanting as they passed the reviewing stand. One commenter suggested he recognized the language from some prior experience and it was the same tune they used prior to “boiling a missionary.”
Anyway, I came home and found the house had not blown away, Missouri is colder (yet drier!) than Nevada, and the birds thought their throats had been cut. Ed.: Not! They only went 24 hours without a feeder. Aside from a warm reception from my beloved Jan, the best part was the reaction of Gus and Maggie to my return. The moaning, groaning, tail wagging, licking and general pandemonium which greeted my return was the ultimate ego trip. Apparently they missed me. Possibly I was confusing that with their desire to go out for a stroll after nine hours without relief—and their supper. It did continue after those mundane amenities however.
In His abiding love,