Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 128

Frequently we drive by a pasture up the Spring River, which we monitor. Lately, there have been Wisconsin-size flocks of geese making a stop by the spring. It takes us back to the great years we had in the land of Favre, cheddar, and bratwurst. We often shared our little four-acre patch with a thousand or so noisy visitors. Until we spotted these travelers we didn’t realize how much we missed them. I guess that is why God gave us memories so that life’s delights are never far from our minds.

We would miss living in the northern states except for the reminders we get from our old friends up there. They invariably enclose pictures of homes so buried in snow one can barely recognize whose house it is. Oh, I remember now; that’s why we moved. They rarely enclose copies of their fuel bills.

Brown vs. Coakley

Tuesday will tell the tale. A scant threat a month ago has now been transformed into an historic possibility. Scott Brown, the Republican challenger for the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy has conducted a stellar campaign and the race is now a toss up. His meteoric rise is attributed to his extreme good looks, his clean record, and his absolute desire to listen to his constituents and do the will of the people. It is assumed that would include heeding the latest lop-side poll number in opposition to the socialist health care initiative before the congress. Seen as a dependable “NO” vote, he could be in a position to derail the vote on the issue and destroy the Obama signature issue.

Coakley has followed a more patrician style and shown a sense of entitlement to the seat vacated by death of the late senator. Among her many notable gaffes was a reference to claiming “Kennedy’s” seat for her own. She was reminded that the seat was not his and actually it was the property of the people of Massachusetts (which she promptly misspelled in a campaign ad.) She further distanced herself from the electorate by showing ignorance of the locally beloved Red Sox and their perennial star, Curt Schilling.

On a more serious level, a deeper investigation of her activities as the attorney general of the state has revealed prosecutorial irregularities which aren’t sitting well with the citizens. They involve unjust prosecution on both the over-zealous and the lax side to different accused. In both cases the leverage exerted from the AG’s office was wrong-headed, unfair, and unprincipled. Many folks have taken notice and it is working to Mrs. Coakley’s disadvantage. That in combination with the populist appeal and fine campaigning by her opposition, Brown has turned the odds on their head.

A number of side issues cloud whether Brown can be successful. None of them have to do with waging a victorious battle for the seat. Most have to do with possible interference from SEIU goons, Black Panther poll watchers, ACORN operatives drumming up sufficient corpses for a victory, and creative efforts to otherwise stuff the ballot boxes. The Democrat Party has sufficient expertise in these matters to affect the outcome.

The two unknowns in Brown’s favor are the populist fervor in opposition to current Democrat initiatives and, I’m ashamed to admit, a natural reluctance demonstrated by Mass voters against any woman candidate for high office within the state. No woman in memory has achieved that lofty goal. Coupled with serious opposition to the socialized medicine factor, the chance of Coakley’s victory is in doubt.

Election is one thing and seating the successful candidate quite another. There is a likelihood that the senate, which alone has the power to seat, may delay until the conclusion of negotiations on the pending bill. A close election would provide opportunity for endless recounts and delays. Only a smashing victory would lessen the impact of efforts to delay seating. Our best wishes and prayers are with Scott Brown.

Found on Another Blog

From Giovanni’s World, a serious trivia question on Washington D.C..

There are two fine institutions in the area: The White House and the National Zoo. What is the difference between them?

The Zoo has an African Lion. The White House has a lyin’ African.

Da-da-boom! Folks, we’ll be here all week—try the veal—be sure to tip your server.

Safe Giving

Many people are overcome with a desire to give aid to the helpless victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. Among them are those who do not have the resources to do research on the validity of various relief agencies. In response to a pastor's request, I did some background checks to help insure that the generous nature of his congregation was not wasted on high priced executives, fancy offices, gratuitous expense accounts, etc..

The criteria, published on registers provided to evaluate charities, include % of income to actual aid, in house salaries as a % of income, overall strength in reserve dollars, and the number of published complaints about the organization. In checking, I found many charities with lengthy negative comments about their operations. Although not the only ones who operate a valid assistance program--there are many I’m certain—I came up with a couple that I consider squeaky clean in their activity. To my knowledge, both are on the scene and have been since the start.

The Convoy of Hope is on site right now and distributing necessary supplies and activities to help out the disadvantaged in Haiti. They benefit from being a smaller presence than some and more agile in their relief effort. Check out their website for information about their programs in progress, pictures, and detail on how to support their efforts.

The ever familiar Salvation Army is a much larger organization but endowed with the benefit of very low overhead since each official is a pastor with other responsibilities. Your money sent to them will be available for Haitian relief but I understand, not directly dedicated. They have an extensive program in progress. They have been on site and a presence in Haiti since 1950 and the link will lead you to a rundown of their activities and access to their donations page.

No preference is implied by the placement of the two organizations: both are worthy. We can only hope this research is of assistance in selecting the object of your giving.

And finally

A glance at the ten day forecast shows a prediction of 50º+ days and some sunshine to give much appreciated relief from the numbing cold. If memory serves, nearly every place I have ever lived, with the exception of Las Vegas, had a terrible cold snap between 12/15 and 1/15. Denver, Wisconsin, the Ozarks, Iowa, Nashville, to mention a few, shared the experience and were followed by a normal winter. Obviously, some were worse than others. Now that the immediate threat is past, is it possible that we can all forget from one year to the next just how typical this weather pattern actually is?

What we are seeing is the emergence of some of the smaller wild animals (armadillos, possums, rabbits, et al) occupying the night-time roadsides and evading the dogs. It appears life is returning to normal here on the ridge. Thank God!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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