Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 129

Granny, now returned to the labor force, (Ed. Does this count as a job gained or one saved?) couldn’t make it to church this morning so I represented the household in the pew on Sunday. Lee Parsons offered some much needed reminders on the relationship of repentance to salvation. I duly noted that all the scriptures came from the latter books of the New Testament—Acts, John I, and Corinthians—in sympathetic agreement with the concepts of the end times. It was a fine offering indeed.

Misty rains, moderate temperatures, and mud are now our constant companions here on the ridge. It is rare to see a lot of slimy mud here because of the rocky content of the soil. This condition is not to be viewed as a complaint but rather just an observation. The same water which falls to make the mud also serves to raise the water table and supply the well which we so dutifully guard.

Crowley Speaks – or not!

Fifty-four cadets from the Randolph Regional Police Training Academy voted to designate Sgt. Crowley (of Gates, Harvard, and beer summit fame) as speaker at their graduation. It was an admirable choice which was promptly vetoed by the officials of the state of Massachusetts.

Apparently, it is not enough to have an Obama voter as a speaker. Having a competent and accomplished officer, who knows his duty and does it, isn’t either. The events of last Tuesday which demonstrate the effectiveness of the people’s voice in the state is, as usual, being ignored by that state’s government.

Do You Realize Just How Stupid You Are?

Stupid seem to be the universal word to describe voters on both side of the political spectrum. If you don’t see the wisdom and social advantages of those policies promoted by Obama and the congress, you are stupid. If, however, you see the disadvantage of bankrupting the country and exercising absolute control over the citizenry, you are stupid. Both assertions in combination then lead us to believe that we are ALL stupid. The only exceptions are those who are mute, deaf and blind who live in a cave.

In the process, the word has suffered from a diminished definition. We as a people are not stupid. We are guilty of indifference, disgust, laziness, boredom, selfishness, lack of inquiry, gullibility, ennui, distraction, and fleeing from serious discussion. We are victims of that perennial family shibboleth that proper people don’t discuss religion or politics. We are unwilling to risk relationships with family or friends in seeking to understand national affairs.

This is a result of anticipating an argument instead of a legitimate inquiry in every one of the gatherings mentioned. Rather than seek documentation of pending legislation, texts of remarks by those prominent in political endeavor, having a copy of the constitution and an almanac at the ready, we rely upon overheard talking points, oft repeated lies, and unverifiable facts and figures. In some cases, the administration, which promised a new dawning in the day of transparency, has concealed the contents of pending legislation and has become expert in doctoring numbers. A modulated discussion with as many facts as can be mustered—difficult, I’ll admit—is far more productive than simply shouting accusations and baseless assertions.

By refusing to discuss either religion or politics we abjure our responsibilities to both our nation and our God. In both cases we often hang back because we feel ill-prepared and unsure of the subject matter. Those who can easily name each panel member on American Idol are unsure of the name of their representative to congress or their state’s attorney general. Is the ability to identify a “West coast offense” as important as clearly understanding the path to salvation and eternal life? In our culture, these failures will not permanently damage our general credibility but will result in an oppressive and faithless government. It’s a lot like the difference between oatmeal for breakfast, which provides a measure of sustenance, or ham and eggs, toast, juice, and fruit which excites the palate and provides a variety of nutriment and excitement plus a grand preparation for the coming day.

For the survival of the republic and a closer relationship with our Maker, we must abandon this ridiculous business of avoiding discussing the most important matters in our lives. I know, you’re busy trying to stay afloat in these perilous financial times. But, sooner or later, we shall have to dismiss the trivial and confront adult topics of conversation. If you have opinions—share them. If you have questions—ask them. Do your own research, read and listen to others, and by all means, get a tune-up for your BS-meter. When all else fails, be ruled by these words: if it’s too good to be true—it probably is.

Do It Yourself

For a daunting challenge, I will supply a quote from science fiction author Robert Heinlein:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

The most important omission, in my opinion, is; change a tire. Beyond that, there is much to recommend the list. Our inability to perform many of these listed activities is because we have come to value dependency. We are idly standing by and watching others develop highly specialized skills at our own expense. If you have ever hired a computer programmer to assist your lame skills you have a rich understanding of the word “expense.”

It might appear that an advanced degree from an Ivy League university could be required to attain the skills which Heinlein outlines. “Design a building” may just as easily be for an outhouse as planning the Empire State Building. “Fight efficiently” possibly could refer to simply winning which is the most efficient outcome. No matter, the important thing is the will to attempt and have the accumulated experience to take a shot at getting the job done.

I certainly applaud his statement if for no other reason than it promotes independence and self-sufficiency. It positively identifies those who are willing, with their own hands, to undertake the difficulties of life and seek homemade solutions. Those people are my heroes. They are also my neighbors and friends—thank God.

And finally

I glanced out the window this last week and there, to my amazement, before my eyes was the traditional harbinger of Spring—robins. About 7 or 8 were searching the ground for treasures of edible proportion. Although the familiar red breast had not ripened to full springtime maturity and strong color, they were still identifiable. May we now consider that this ever dependable sign of seasonal change means the imminent end of winter? I certainly hope so but have my doubts. Al Gore would be pleased to have seen it.

With the huge changes which have come to the minds and hearts of the electorate, we shall make every effort in the coming days to keep up and offer our take. Things are moving very rapidly on that front and we urge you to keep in touch. Let’s hope it’s not just a matter of reporting the good, the bad, and the ugly. Stay warm; stay well, and keep coming back.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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