Saturday, March 21, 2009

It Came in the Mail

I am unable to verify the attrition to Rush Limbaugh. It is something which he might have said and certainly, something which someone should have said. I have been able to verify the numbers though.

Here is the message that was forwarded to my inbox:

“I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualties and those who die serving our country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country.

If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.
If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable.

Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt..

Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers. (Actually, soldiers are put in harms way by politicians and commanding officers.)

We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well.

You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make sense?

However, our own US Congress voted themselves a raise. Many of you don't know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month. And most are now equal to being millionaires plus.. They do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system. If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, they may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed them in harm's way receives a pension of $15,000 per month.

I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.

When do we do something about this?”

Thank you Rush!

I am very upset about the death benefit to widows of fallen heroes who volunteered their services in the military in various engagements throughout the world. Obviously no amount of money will replace a father, mother, husband, wife, lover, provider, role model or any of the other fine characteristics these fine men and women represent. However, that is certainly no excuse to condemn their heirs to a life of penury. It represents the continued disregard our government extends to those who defend our liberties and protect others from tyrannies in foreign lands.

I am certain that the death benefit for the victims of 9/11 is predicated on their income at the time of the attack. However, if some of them were so well paid that they deserved a much bigger piece of the pie it begs this question: didn’t they have enough to buy sufficient life insurance? It serves as further evidence of the lack of individual action in favor of leaning on the government for relief of every situation. I regret the loss of life and injury sustained in those vicious attacks but there is little equivalence evidenced here.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Friday, March 20, 2009

Give It a “Rest”

Perhaps one of the most effective devices used by those geniuses who have composed the great symphonies is the rest. Who among us has not been thrilled by the soaring music, adding power, volume and intensity; racing to a climactic moment when suddenly they all go entirely mute? It is a form of silent punctuation which emphasizes the glory of the preceding notes. As a result, there is as much impact from the absolute silence as there was from the frantic ascendancy to the climax.

Once the rest is counted, the orchestra continues to our further enjoyment. In retrospect we understand that that singular moment was as important to the composition as everything the extremely talented musicians have offered before its arrival. It has supplied a two or three second respite for the musicians to restore their breath or ease the burden on the arm which holds the bow. It has offered a brief moment for the audience to allow the flavor of the work to be absorbed.

I believe that there is a parallel here from which the president could learn a great deal. As he sees his poll approval numbers continue to drop he might wish to consider the importance of the “rest.” Since the inauguration, there has been a constant flurry of activity with near manic offerings of new programs, new governance style, and one crisis after another. Radical proposals are offered at machine gun speed with a fresh topic on the griddle every morning with his waffles. His predecessor, more akin to the tortoise than the hare, did not furnish enough activity in his entire administration to provide sufficient fodder to supply enough “necessary” corrective action to fuel the current needs of this outfit.

I seriously doubt if his followers drank enough Kool-Aid leading up to his taking charge to supply the energy to keep up. I am well aware that his opposition has had to be alert 24/7. Just on Zion Beckons alone our posting rate has nearly doubled because we believe that each and every cockamamie scheme deserves examination. We are not unique in this regard as we find nearly every blogger we visit daily has increased his output accordingly. Even the ultra liberal ones are taxed to defend every new wrinkle which comes from the White House. And yes, there is a new one at least once a day.

If his desire was to truly effect a change and not just stir the pot; I believe a more reasoned, well investigated and frankly, slower approach might prove more successful. As it stands now, all of us from the extreme left to those to the right of your host get up very early to see what’s on the plate for today. We all scramble to offer either endorsement or rebuttal and seek to determine whether it is a serious proposal or just another smoke screen to cover up yet one more unreasoned debacle.

The original document of liberty was dated July 4, 1776. The final Constitution of the United States was approved on September 15, 1787. It took 11 years, 2 months, and 13 days between the two for agreement to be reached to insure the original liberty to the citizens of the original colonies. We all know that it is easier to destroy than it is the build. It is also quicker. Mr. President, attempt to destroy it if you must, but do so with a modicum of decency and at least take your time. Give it a rest.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good for the Goose

In a development so typical of the two-faced nature of the "powers" in Washington we find the executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac anticipating retention bonuses which run to well over a million dollars for individual persons. Despite any pleadings to the contrary, these federally backed agencies are engaging in exactly the same shenanigans that were attacked so vigorously on Wednesday in the AIG hearings. The difference is that they have been an arm of the federal establishment and not a recently acquired asset.

Both of the Macs were seized by the government in September of 2008 and federal authorities had no difficulty acknowledging the necessity for retention of key executives to sustain normal operations. Hence they authorized bonuses for the outfit whose failed policies contributed so much to the financial meltdown.

Overlooked in the reportage is the highly personal relationship which exists between some of the most caustically critical Senators and the rewarded executives in all the companies cited. AIG is on record for having contributed to, among many others, Sen. Dodd (D-CN and Chairman of the Banking Committee) $101,000+ and to the president, (at the time D-Il) 103,000+ for campaign purposes. Nearly every sentient observer is well aware of the relationship between Freddie’s Frank Raines and Barney Frank (D-People’s Republic of Massachusetts.) The hypocrisy in the committee room was so thick it hung like a pall of sour pudding over the podium.

The principal victim in the room was a venerable construct of law—the contract. One of the keystones of liberty which is celebrated in our Constitution is the ability of bodies live and corporate to enter into agreements which affirm and assure that their terms are met. There is no mention of the ability of either the executive or the legislative branches to negate an existing legal contract. The court system and, if necessary, the Supreme Court is the arbiter of contract law. The intrusion of the other two branches into this arena is unfair, unwelcome and illegal. This concept is a rudimentary requirement for first year law students but has somehow escaped the attention of those solons—most with a legal background—so intent on grandstanding before the public to demonize the parties with such agreements.

Contracts, once agreed, require fulfillment. These senators are the same parties which encouraged contracts between unqualified borrowers and the banking institutions they criticize which brought about the current meltdown. They further seek to extract their “pound of flesh” through exceptional taxation on the parties concerned to recover what they falsely perceive to be ill gotten gains.

My first reaction to the committee-room circus was embarrassment at the ignorance of our elected representatives. When it became obvious that they were totally ruled by self interest and not national concern for the republic my response turned to outrage. Mr. Liddy, a capable executive faced with an impossible problem, was greeted with hostility and derision. His self control was admirable in the face of such opposition of a purely partisan nature. Unlike the “fat cats” who grilled him, he has agreed to endure this for the princely sum of $1.00 per year. That is not an error in reporting; he does it for an annual remuneration that won’t buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas. Unlike his tormentors, he has put his money where his mouth is for the benefit of the republic. Shame, Shame, Shame, on the Senate!!!

The tendency of our current leadership, both executive and legislative, to erect a “straw man” to divert the public’s attention from problems which are real and do require solutions is alarming. The bonuses constitute a minuscule fraction of 1% of the bail out monies required for AIG. Compared to the unprecedented ongoing rape of the treasury it is not even a gnat on an elephant’s posterior which would be best expressed as .000055%. While 165 million appears an immense amount to the average bear it is less than petty in the grand scheme of things. If your hand held calculator cost less than $50, it probably will not even accept an entry of one trillion.

We are being treated like simple minded, trusting children and are also being suckered into the fascination of distractions to keep our minds off the actual threats to our nation. Edward Liddy, Rush, and myriad others are only shiny objects which divert us from the realities of an onrushing socialist agenda. If we do not soon wake up and demand our rightful protection from our government, we shall soon be ground under its heel.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Much of inspiration for this piece came from this article.

Testimony 3

Today we continue with the relation of the testimonies of Hartley. This is a recollection of a fifty year accumulation of one on one experiences with the Holy Spirit.

“Just before I left for work one afternoon, I read in the scriptures that if God turned His back on His creation it would become undone. This caused me to marvel as I drove through Kansas City. The traffic became gridlocked, and I finally turned the engine off and waited.

As I sat there I considered the Scripture that I had read. The Spirit fell upon me, and as I looked out of the windshield I suddenly saw, and sensed, the Power of God holding the elements together--absolute and total. Every blade of grass had a light around it; every leaf, and every tree, the elements of each held in place by the Power of God--every living thing. A squirrel crossing over the car on a power line, had every hair illumed by that same power. A lady walking down the street was fully engulfed.

I looked off into the distance where they were erecting a new building, steel brightly painted, which was being lifted into place, and I was suddenly shocked. The beautiful essence of God’s mighty Spirit was not in evidence. I looked more carefully around me; all that man had made was in decay, even the new steel being erected on the building. It did not have the essence of that which was on and in every living thing.

I sensed every living thing was interacting with all creation through that power. I now understood the words of the Lord, ‘Pray over your crops, your flocks, your loved ones, all that is before you, around you, dear to you.’ The Scriptures say God is in, through and around all things. It is truly so.

In the language of today, I suppose it is called Karma.

A man told a story of visiting a home, there was a grape vine struggling near the back door. A feeling of compassion came over him, and he spontaneously asked the Lord to bless it. That year they picked a bushel of grapes from that grape vine. The owner said God had truly blessed it.

God Bless,

Hartley Stanbridge”

If you wish to direct a private comment to Hartley, you may email him at We here at Zion Beckons are grateful to him for sharing these wonderful moments from his life.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Someone Gets It

I am about to give you a link which will immediately be resisted. If you bring it up your first reaction will be to avoid it because of its sheer length. The only reason I made the decision to “click” was foreknowledge that it was from the Heritage Foundation. I trust them for not only the truth but also their capacity to make that which I vaguely understand crystal clear.

The piece deals with a concept I have misunderstood for years. What motivates the liberal mind to be so aggressively against what I see as America’s greatest strengths?

The speaker, Evan Sayet, isolates the answer to my burning question. His credentials are capably outlined by the man introducing him and Sayet goes straight to the heart of the issue. With his good humor, excellent organization, and unpretentious speech, I guarantee that you will leave the experience with a far better understanding.

When he completed his presentation I felt disappointed because I wanted more. Time had gone by in such a rush; I could not believe it. His delivery prompted another question which I answered to my personal satisfaction. Without a teleprompter, obvious notes, or any other crutch, he delivered his remarks smoothly and directly from the heart. It is always a pleasure to listen to one who has a thorough knowledge and love of his subject.

Click here and you can thank me later.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 82

Just as a matter of review, I called your attention earlier to the presidential nullification of the Bush stand on embryonic research. It was only two days later that the congress passed the porkulus bill which contained a reinstatement of the same policy, obviously a feature which was unknown to “the one” when he signed it into law. I use this as a serious criticism of not just the president, but also, the entire left side of the congress.. To sign a bill into law which contains a diametric contradiction of an executive order just issued is bad enough. For the congress to forward a bill containing that about face is all the demonstration I need to see that the left hand does not know what the other left hand is about.

Obviously, I am delighted with the outcome. I have given some serious thought to just how this all came about. I should be faulted for a failure to fully understand how it happened. I have prayed repeatedly for God’s intervention and when it takes place; I stand amazed. I also realize that many of you have prayed to same end and hope that you do not join me in demonstrating my lack of faith.

We should all rejoice that either through the hand of God or old fashioned ineptitude, this wonderful outcome has been realized. Each and every life is precious to God. Every child in the womb is under constant assault so these victories, no matter how small; have to be great in the eyes of God.

Hang ‘em High

I was reading a piece on the declining stock market and found this in the comments:

“I bet if the entire Obama Administration and Democratic Congressional Leadership were sentenced to hang on December 1, 2009, if the stock market was not above 9000 and unemployment was not below 7%, they would become raging tax-cutting pro-business libertarians overnight.”

An ammunition shortage?

As each day passes and the pressure increases to turn our government into yet another socialist utopia, we find many folks accelerating preparedness. This action takes many forms and involves stockpiling many different types of goods. Perhaps the most noticeable is the pressure to keep up with stocking ammunition.

A recent visit to a firearms dealer to bulk up personal stock confirmed what I had suspected. They are unable to keep up with the demand. Almost every category of ammo has been under pressure and the shelves were nearly bare. Selection of firearms themselves is severely limited whether new or used. As a former FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder it is easier to weed through the conversations with dealers and extract what is actually happening. There is little question in their minds as to the cause; private citizens want an adequate supply for the defense of their families and their property.

The customers almost universally mention to the dealers their desire for self-defense as their primary thought with no mention of offensive action. To blunt these observations some pundits have claimed that the pressure on inventories comes from the Mexican drug cartels and not private citizens and police agencies. For a fuller discussion of this issue you might wish to (click here.) Unlike firearms themselves, ammunition purchase does not require jumping through the same hoops.

Anyone with the least combat experience will happily share that in a sustained fire-fight; no one ever had enough ammo. I am not suggesting that that possibility is on the horizon. But, I am an ex-boy scout and our motto was: “Be prepared!”

More Comments from Readers

I truly believe that I see as much wisdom from readers who comment on blogs as I do from those who labor to write them. The first one speaks to myth that “the one” is an accomplished “off the cuff” speaker. I don’t see how this guy can order his favorite breakfast, waffles, without a teleprompter. The second addresses one of few really good decisions he has made. These were both responses to Glen Reynolds of Instapundit.

Reader Thomas Prewitt writes:

“I am struggling to identify any area in which Obama has demonstrated competence since he became president. Seriously can you name one? Hell, he can’t even speak without using a teleprompter.”

MORE: Reader Fred Butzen writes:

“Normally, I’d rather damn Obama than praise him. But since you ask, I think he’s shown a degree of competence in managing the war in Iraq. Retaining Gates, and maintaining continuity with the Bush administration policies that were working. He had to make a show of setting a deadline, I guess to keep his supporters happy, but he eased under the bus the “mad dash for the exits” strategy that he had trumpeted during the campaign.
Obama could have shown just a smidgen of grace and made a nod in the direction of his predecessor, who, despite the unwavering opposition of people like Senator Barack Obama, managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat; but Barry doesn’t do magnanimity.”

And Finally

Today marked yet another smooth trip to Miami, OK for services. That 140 mile round trip gets shorter every time. Paul Ludy, known to most Saints as the Old Bookman, brought the message and thoroughly covered the intention of Christ in the ordinance of washing the feet. I’m certain that many in the pews were as informed and uplifted as I. Not only is he an inspired preacher he is also an extremely valuable resource for Restorationists seeking the latest or the oldest of our publications.

The rush to spring continues apace. Even though we really didn’t have a hard winter, I do enjoy having a window open now and then to enjoy (?) the odors of the season. The wild onions carry their own peculiar odor as do other local activities by the farmers. Without a snow cover, the birds are now in the process of cleaning up the spilled seed which fell upon the ground and deck. Once they get that cleaned up I’ll think about putting some fresh bird seed out there.

I’ll be taking the mower deck to my Amish neighbor for some minor welding and I can only hope I’m now prepared. I gave the tractor its annual full spring “detailing” and it doesn’t look half bad for starting its sixth season. The only remaining chore is to remove all the rocks which have risen through the soil this winter on about four acres. Either I do that or spend the rest of the spring and summer repairing the mower for the umpty-leventh time. Unbelievable as it may seem, I stock more parts (for that model mower) than the Sears Service Center in Springfield. Through it all, I thank God for keeping me in physical condition to handle these chores.

For those readers in the Snow Belt, keep the faith: Spring is on the way.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon