Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 154

The yard is now littered with fireworks detritus. The fridge is starting to look a little leaner. Most of the holiday company has gone home. The speeches and the parades are slowly coming to an end. The patriotic fervor has reached a fever pitch so now we can speculate on how long it will last and how we are to accomplish it.

Today, our country commences our 235th year. We have been well reminded of where we came from; now it is time for each citizen to gain a clear picture of where we are going. More important; we have had our annual reminder of the importance of the role of each person and his individual responsibility in the governance of the people as a whole. Our veterans clearly understand the role of the citizen soldier and their individual obligations to the country and to the guy standing next to them. This is a posture which needs to become universal if the nation is to survive.

Those who have contributed their lives, their limbs and lost hours of their lives in defense of our values to varying degrees, understood the concept. We celebrate those leaders who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of liberty but they would quickly remind us that those who lead depend upon the intensity, integrity and willingness of those who follow. All too often they have seen simple individual initiative prevail over a determined and well organized enemy. This quality in those who serve has been the determining force in obtaining hard won victories in battle.

This holiday has been an opportunity for every American to review his obligation to those who have preceded him to perpetuate that exceptionalism which has made our country the greatest in the world. In so doing, we must accept the responsibility of citizenship. We must be ready to insist upon a renewal of our dedication to the constitution. We need to remind ourselves and our leaders that we are, indeed, a country which excels by virtue of the laws of God and not of man. Pray earnestly for the continuation of this republic.

“76”, An Anniversary Date or A Continued Disaster?

We all remember the famous novel/movie “Forest Gump.” Now, we hear from the author, Winston Groom as he comments on the oil spill in the gulf as it appears in the Weekly Standard. As you read his account of the spill, you will sense the affection for his native home and the damage incurred during the disaster.

Mr. Groom outlines the absolutely incompetent response to the spill by the federal government as expertly as one might expect from such a successful writer. In his personal competence, one easily sees the pain which he experiences as he watches his home country decimated by the result of the spill—now seventy-six days and counting. He cites repeated examples of “EPA, OSHA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, and a host of lesser bureaucracies” as they follow their regimen of nonsensical barriers to progress against the spill.

Read his account on the link above and share his angst with the sheer ineptitude of these agencies as they follow ridiculous rules and regulations to inhibit the recovery effort. The president has tools in his kit to relieve the regulatory process to face this huge emergency. Noting his inability to actually be an effective leader, it is likely that they will continue to spend more time counting fire extinguishers and life preservers than actually doing anything substantive to rectify the problem.

The Stars and Stripes Forever

No Fourth of July is complete without hearing at least one rendition of the "Stars and Stripes Forever" .  This John Phillip Sousa march is here performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Bernstein.

The piccolo work late in the piece is wonderful but not one whit better than that performed by Marilyn (Martin) Parizek as a teenager with the West Liberty High School band back in the forties. If her rendition did not send cold chills up your spine, you had no soul.

Nearly all of the survivors of the class of ’50 (14?) who will attend the 60th class reunion in a couple weeks were members of the multiple award winning band and occupied “first chairs” in their respective sections. Each would happily recount for you the affect that their early music skills had on their entire lives. We often shared with a grateful community the product of our band and choruses. Most were also an integral part of their individual worship experiences as choir members and soloists.

As you watch the video, please note the expression on Conductor Bernstein’s face as he enjoys the piccolos. One senses an eagerness on the part of the orchestra to be playing this venerable Sousa march. Enjoy!

Obama Speaks!—the Steve Bridges Version
This video is incredible!   Steve Bridges has this guy nailed. His specialty is impersonation and he is superb. It is in two parts and both are available at the link. I know, every one thinks his link is the best and hypes it to the roof. You’ll just have to trust me on this and see for yourself if you do not think it is outstanding.

And finally

The relief from the heat of mid-summer has been enjoyed by all. We even got a little bit of rain and that is always a help. The wildlife feature of the week was the appearance of a family of wild turkeys with some very small ones in tow. They are the absolute definition of the word “deliberate.” It would appear that each movement is preplanned and executed with great care.

On one contact, we were able to test our dog Maggie’s discipline. Granny reported that she--albeit reluctantly--did return when called and left the turkeys alone. It is probably just as well because I truly believe that they are not only capable of handling dogs on a routine basis but also more than able. I also believe that the presence of the young would provide an additional stimulus to their existing defensive talents. The short version being, don’t mess with an angry mama turkey. Come to think of it, that would apply to innumerable creatures which inhabit our little wood.

Have a great Fourth (5th?) and pray for better times ahead.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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