Saturday, July 4, 2009

Palin—Stepping Down From Governor—Or?

With a stunning announcement from Wasilla, Sarah Palin says she will leave the governorship of Alaska on July 26. She formally made a statement in that regard with a riveting set of remarks reprising accomplishments, difficulties, and few hints as to what the future may hold.

As a matter of full disclosure, I personally find her the most enervating, uplifting, straight forward and energetic politician I have seen since Reagan. In a word I am prejudiced in my opinion.

I have listened to the talking heads from all sides of the political spectrum and concluded that those who dislike her—from both extremes—are those who are married to the Eastern establishment. They are very offended by her direct honest approach without the affectation of Ivy League compromise and “old-boy” associations. They can’t abide her homely speech, her lack of 1st tier college background, her unabashed faith and her absolute disdain for huge government. Most of her critics are just one more “You betcha” from going completely bonkers. Being an absolutely devoted wife and mother doesn’t help her in the opinion of the establishment snobs.

I claim no credit for reading political tea leaves but this one seems fairly obvious. As she explained in her remarks she does not want to burden Alaskans with the extraneous problems brought about by the lunatic fringe. Although she was not as direct, she recognizes that they can’t abide the idea of a gorgeous, accomplished mother of five, with a clear unprejudiced view of the national scene. The shallowness of criticism has reached shameful proportions and has proven a distraction from governing effectively. It can only get worse as I predict she will seek higher office again.

Although she did not mention it, from personal family experience, I know that even in a large loving family, the care of a Downs baby creates excessive demands on a mother. For whatever reason, these blessed children seem to find other health concerns which exacerbate their obvious difficulties. It does not, however, keep them from being the most loving of children. One can easily understand the wishes of a mother who wants to give such a child more time, care and love. Even with caring siblings, there is no substitute for the mother’s touch. Another year or so older will find Trig becoming progressively easier to care for.

With her approval rating as governor of Alaska in the high 70’s she will step down a winner. She has accomplished enough to establish her leadership credentials. The most recent achievement being the signing of all parties on the gas pipeline—one of the largest non-government entities in the history of the two countries involved. With the events of the last year or so, it is constantly refreshing to hear a straight talking political figure who is concerned for the people and not her personal self-aggrandizement.

You go, girl!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

The Fourth of July-233 years!

Of the heroes of April 18-19, 1775 come to our attention, those super-annuated in their Number captures the attention of your host. One such man was Jonas Parker, the uncle of the commander at Lexington, Capt. Parker. While his exact age is difficult to verify, as the uncle of the leader he would logically have been a generation older. The following is an excerpt from this web site :

“Captain Parker, fearing a confrontation and bloodshed, shouts to his men. GIVE WAY, MEN. FALL BACK!! The men in the front ranks begin to obey and turn to the rear. The men remaining in the rear rank push them back into position. Due to the confusion, the British decide to release the two men from Woburn, Asahel Porter and Josiah Richardson.

Jonas Parker pushes his way from the rear to the center of the line. He removes his hat and slams it to the ground. He shouts defiantly: NO SIR! HERE I STAY!!!

Jonas Parker then begins to unload his cartridges into his hat. The front rank now pushes their way through the second rank some back away while others turn and hurry off.

The Light Company of the Tenth forms a single extended line and starts forward with their weapons and charged bayonets. They let out a shout. (Drum): HUZZAH!!!

At the shout, the air is broken by a shot from the corner of Buckman Tavern, from where Solomon Brown has discharged his musket, wounding a private in the leg. This British soldier, Johnson, falls.


Lt. Sutherland (the Lieutenant of the Tenth) commands: FIRE!! FIRE!

At which the tenth breaks ranks and advances, firing. Jonas Parker opens fire, followed by Nathan Munroe. Parker starts to reload, but is hit by British fire. He falls, but struggles to rise and still attempts to continue loading”
Jonas Parker was not being careless with his life but pursuing a goal consistent with his desires for his fellowman. One easily understands the frustrations of an older man in the militia to bring matters to a head.

Since he lived to tell the tale, we take this from a monument near Arlington on the perilous road back to Boston which the British were forced to travel.

“Near this spot, Samuel Whittemore, then 80 years old, killed three British soldiers, April 19, 1775. He was shot, bayoneted, beaten and left for dead, but recovered and lived to be 90 years of age.

(Arlington Marker)” -- Ibid

As I looked across the Tea Party gathering in Cassville, Missouri on Friday, the third, I noted a preponderance of gray hair in the crowd. The commander of the local American Legion Post then announced that a change in the rules now allowed veterans to use the hand salute for the Pledge of Allegiance while in civilian attire. This revealed that nearly all the adult men in the gathering were indeed veterans and the thought of Samuel Whittemore’s bold actions came to mind.

It posed the question: “Are there indeed Samuel Whittemore’s among us?” I say yes!

The well-trained British regulars suffered 73 dead, 174 wounded, and 26 missing on that fateful April day.. Although outnumbered nearly 8 to 1, the colonials lost only 49 dead, 40 wounded and 5 missing.

The British rarely left the safety of Boston again.

Today marks our separation from the motherland. Amidst the hotdogs, fireworks, and marks of a typical US holiday, keep in mind the courage, love of country, and bravery of those who fought to make our celebrations possible. All gave some: some gave all.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Thursday, July 2, 2009

They’ve Had it Up To Here

Although we are all eventually made aware of cataclysmic events very soon after their occurrence, sometimes the event has sufficient nuance that it is not immediately apparent.

One such historic turn-around took place at the presidential news briefing in advance of “the one's” speech on the upcoming health care initiative. The principal issue is not the impending legislation but rather, the white house handling of the attempt to spoon feed the press.

In a reasonably successful effort to control the news media, they have typically offered an opportunity for submission of questions in advance of the event in order to cherry pick the “reliable” sources and thus control the resultant “discussion.” In the face of dwindling poll numbers indicating that now the president has fewer approval than disapproval ratings, we seen a greater—if that’s possible—effort mounted to control the media.

How appropriate on the run-up to one of our most important national holidays—one which commemorates our acquisition of God given liberty—we see the press finally come alive and object to the obvious control exerted on them. View this tape for yourself and enjoy the forever flustered Robert Gibbs attempt to fend off the watchdogs of freedom who understand the word transparency.

Among those most insistent in their objection to the high-handed procedures in place for “town-meetings,” is a very familiar figure: Helen Thomas. Yes, you read it right, Helen Thomas. She was downright adamant in her remarks about the procedure. She was the last person in the press briefing room I had expected to join in support of those objections. Is it possible that she is indeed obligated by a life long tradition in the press to understand their role in our convoluted apparatus of government? Now follow words which I thought I would never write: Helen Thomas, I salute you for rising to thwart the insidious threat to our First Amendment freedoms and the courage to pursue the issue.

I truly believe that this day may well mark a turning point in our immediate history. The lap-dog attitude of the fourth estate regarding “the one” may change to actually reporting the news rather than mouthing platitudes about “his miraculous presence.” Whether this will translate to actual awareness on the part of the public as a result remains to be seen. It is definitely a chink in the armor of absolute control over the media.

The reason I find this such a landmark is the condition of a populace which appears to accept every word from their leader’s mouth as gospel. The insistence that these “town hall” meetings actually reflect honest questions based on actual concerns is vital to informing the people. Depriving the president of the opportunity to prepare occluded responses in advance can have a devastating affect on his agenda. For the first time in many months I see the possibility of deflecting the on-rushing socialist plague and a rising awareness of a country totally out of control.

Along with many others, our family has prayed for just such an occurrence of divine intercession in Washington, D.C. I am not being facetious in saying that I truly believe that only an act of God would bring Helen Thomas to protest the current procedures. I also acknowledge that I wish my faith were even stronger. One would think that the mounting evidence of divine intervention in my life through answered prayer, healing, and His many other gifts would convince me of his hearing. Why am I surprised? Have I not mastered the concept that God treats our prayers seriously?

This may then be a watershed moment not just for the country but also for this citizen. God has asked for my prayers. Obviously He listens. Please join me in continued prayer for the restoration of this marvelous country. I am convinced that this is our only option to return the republic to its former God-given purpose.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 98

Amidst the growing pile of outrageous political action nationally and the unseasonable heat we have had here in the Ozarks, our irritation levels have accelerated. Last night we gained some relief from the latter with a welcome thunderstorm and about a half inch of rain. Our dear Maggie, at sixty pounds, sought relief from the terror of the thunder by joining Jan and Gus and Boss and me on our bed. She assumed a defensive position beside my wife at 3 am and prepared for a long night to protect us. Or, was it the other way around? Soon the gentle sound of the blessed rain lulled us all to sleep and it didn’t really matter.

Don’t mess with granny

Someone sent this link about an Oregon grandmother and her remarkable record with her car. She and her Caliente have been together for over forty-five years and covered the distance of nearly twenty-one trips around the world. Yes, over 540,000 miles of normal service with no major repairs.

There is much to learn here not only about cars and car care but also outlook on life and self-reliance. My hat is off to her and yours will be too. Don’t miss this one.

The end of the good news

It’s difficult to summon up the words to describe the action of the House of Representative this past week. On a vote of 219-212 they passed the Cap & Trade legislation with the complicity of nine Republican representatives. This will result in a tax—that is the only proper word—on your energy costs which will remove an additional $2000 per year minimum from your already strained budget for no real purpose other than a feel good offering to the gods of global warming.

It now faces passage in the Senate to become law. If you are against further government intrusion into the lives of Americans, it is not too late to contact your senator and express your opinion. Trust me they are listening; if for no other reason than the desire to be re-elected.

In rough numbers, the bill ran to over 900 pages with an amendment of 300 additional pages introduced at 3 am the day of the vote. I submit that it is impossible to read 1200 pages of material and become even vaguely familiar with the content in the available interval. I fully realize that they think they are geniuses but I do believe we all know better.

The Grim Reaper calls

Some really well-known people have been called to their reward in the last month. Out of morbid curiosity, research revealed a comprehensive list of the famous, the near famous and the infamous who have checked out since the first of the year.

The most recent, Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Farrah Faucett, and David Carridine come quickly to mind. Gale Storm requires some age to remember but Billy Mays, the pitchman for OxyClean came as the biggest surprise. Age and life style often precipitate death as does the presence of a fatal disease. Mays just had a heart attack and died.

A few more since the first of the year caught my attention: Bea Arthur, Ron Silver, Dom Deluise, Ricardo Montleban, Molly Bee and curiously Jimmy Boyd (one recorded the original song and the other carried it to fame: “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”) and my son’s favorite Las Vegas act: Danny Gans.

There were many others as well which you would probably recognize but I omitted politicians, business people, musicians generally, community organizers and porn stars. As age becomes a fact of life, I become more sensitive to those who, although much younger than I, have departed. Jackson, Faucett, and Billy Mays become obvious: their average age at death was about 50. This prompts me to attempt to understand the mind of God.

We are obviously dealing with an intelligence (God’s) which defies explanation or understanding and its immense scope becomes baffling. Medical science notwithstanding, I truly believe that when He calls, you go. This does not necessarily call for acceptance of pre-destination because that would deny the Almighty the option to change His mind as we develop. One wonders what special purpose or possibly impatience brings about an otherwise premature end.

I suppose if it matters to you or to me, perhaps it would be a good idea to repent, behave, seek him and possibly be in a position at some future time to clear up the mystery. Just sayin’: it can’t hurt. For all of them, we pray: rest in peace.

Tea Parties

The tea party list has now grown to 505 nationwide. All are planned for the 4th of July weekend and I hope you are prepared to attend one. It appears we have two to attend and plan on doing both. As a reminder, they are all listed here by state.

And Finally

Last night’s shower was the first since the last “Rant.” Our daytime highs have been hovering in the 95° to 99° range with constant sun and very few clouds. It is safe to say that the snow is about gone from the north side of the shed. (Never mind; it’s an old, not too funny, inside family joke.) This week we built a raised rock bed about 10’ long for our azaleas and the asters. The balance of the time we allowed for being out doors has been devoted to dragging two different 150’ hoses from bed to bed.

It’s all worth it though when each new plant blossoms in its own way and delights the eye. After the rain, we noted the grass had grown inches and the mowing started again. Just what I have always dreamed of: I’m a full time gardener. I’m just doing the job that other Americans won’t do.

I would add a bird to the bird list if I could get the critter to settle down long enough to make a positive ID. She is some kind of wren and flits in and hides in the rafters on the deck to build a nest. She does not trouble the feeder but just continues to bring detritus from the yard up for building material. If I can ever be certain, I shall list her for your interest.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Quotes

We have done this before and will probably do it again. It’s fun to tap the wisdom (?) of people who have gained measurable significance. Please give each its proper deference. There may be some repetition of former entries but only because they are more applicable today.

"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; [if] it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."
- Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand, 1944.

"Our freedom was not won a century ago, it is not won today, but is in our hands, and we are no longer marching by ones and twos but in legions of thousands, convinced now it cannot be denied by human force."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I think we'll find a Martian sooner than we'll find a politician with the courage to say that the drug war is an overblown fraud."
-Charley Reese, a nationally syndicated columnist

"You cannot build character and courage by taking away a person's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
-Abraham Lincoln, 1861.

"There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness."
-Dave Berry

"Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders."
-Mary Schmich

"Stress management: it is the difference between pushing your husband down the stairs and just thinking about it."

"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops."
-Kurt Vonnegut

"I got a good Christian raisin' and an eighth grade education, and I don't need y'all treatin' me this way."
-Willie Nelson

"It is easier to make a camel jump a ditch than to make a daughter listen to reason."
-Empire of the Sultans Exhibit at Portland Museum of Art

"Think globally, shoot locally.."

"Genius is the capacity for seeing what is not there."

"It has been said on television recently that we should thank our veterans. If you want to thank your veterans, the best way is by refusing to willingly give up the freedoms they died for, in exchange for a false sense of security." -President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, January 17, 1961

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Essayist

"I came to see that my quarrel was never with the Christ, but with his foolish and narrow priests who mistook their own narrowness for his."
-Mists of Avalon

"You know the world's gone mad when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the USA of arrogance and the Germans don't want to go to war!"

"Unanswered questions are far less dangerous than unquestioned answers."

"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once."
-Stephen King,Kingdom Hospital

"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."
-Theodore Roosevelt ,May 7, 1918 (Emphasis added)

Thanks for taking this time to indulge in provocative thought.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon