Saturday, January 30, 2010

On Unpleasant Language


Over the years I have made an attempt to eliminate the earthy language which has populated my speech. Although I have made some progress, (Ed. Not as much as some would like) I cannot claim fulfillment of my goal. In some cases, stronger verbiage seems necessary to get the point across. Actual blasphemy has nearly disappeared in concert with the desire not to offend my God. My goal is to reduce the usage to a point where it serves as actual punctuation, or better, exclamation, for emphasis of the seriousness of a point I’m trying to get across.

The greatest problem I have faced in overcoming this problem has been an inborn desire to flaunt political correctness in all its phony prissiness. In our complex world, it solves few problems to restate and describe unpleasant reality in sugar coated platitudes. Problem solving is difficult enough without adding confusing identification to the mix. The rush to find accommodation to salve every problem or situation with a false name is demeaning and non-instructive. To “call a spade a spade” has become inappropriate in finding solutions to ghetto problems. Thus a highly illustrative construction is dismissed in favor of less well-understood language.

This commentary was provoked this morning as I watched a YouTube video on Big Journalism. The principal players were Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Contessa Brewer and her sidekick Melissa Francis on MSNBC. In full “have you stopped beating your wife” mode, Brewer asked Gregg if he was willing to sacrifice “education” and other essential services for the sake of a balanced budget. Gregg wisely elected to address the bogus nature of the question and the result may be seen by going to the link. It’s a short (1:06 min.) but very instructive example of what conservative representatives face with those who would promote the reckless policies and actions of this administration.

As I read the comments, the summation of all their observations could easily be discerned from two extremely descriptive words—“bitch slap!” Every thing in their questioning and in the good Senator’s response was well said by that expression. The formation of the question, the accusatory nature, over-talking his response, and their general attitude (mainly the eye rolling) gave credence to the accuracy of the first word of the phrase. His well stated and even answer constituted the second.

It has been a personal joy in my life to have shared it with a bitch. My current companion, Maggie, is a Rottweiler/red bone mix who is the sweetest friend a man ever had. Her very natural role as a mother imbues her with protective instincts which are evident in her attitude toward intruders on our property. Any unwanted visitor, be they two or four legged, will find her most inhospitable. Once properly introduced, you would see her as delightful as our family does. Barring that introduction, she will immediately revert to her natural and very acceptable role as our protector. It is unfortunate that the pejorative use described previously is mistakenly taken from such a lovely and responsible creature. She is equipped however with sixty pounds of serious hurt.

The usage is extremely clear. The commenter, who used it, brought out the essential content of the senator’s response to the harridans who were attacking him without subtlety. The leftists who inhabit the media are ever on the attack and, unfortunately, are not often enough confronted by the quick wit which the senator displayed. His refusal to “take the bait” earned him a place of respect in my opinion. His reluctance to accept the question as stated demonstrated his clear understanding of the situation and his courage in facing what has proven to be an arch enemy.

For that well-delivered bitch slap, we all thank you.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union Bingo

My buddy, Donald Borsch, Jr., at Conservative Firestorm, sent me a clever Bingo card. The premise was to check on typical words and phrases which are standard in any Obama speech. These were entered in the squares under the word B-A-R-A-C-K—you know the drill. I then settled down at 8 PM and started the ordeal, Bingo dobbers in hand.

The entire speech ran about an hour and ten minutes and was interrupted by applause roughly once every forty seconds. Those Democrats really “love” their guy. For the most part, the opposition sat on their hands. The Teleprompters did their job and the “O” came off looking like an accomplished orator.

I needed an “uh” or an “er” to complete a Bingo but he managed to avoid both. He also managed to not use “bipartisan” specifically and the exact phrase “let me be clear.” Others not called included, “bitter,” “greed,” inherited,” “job creation,” and, not least, “both sides of the aisle.” It appeared that he must have canned his regular speech writer and found another with a new set of stock phrases. The new guy is pretty good and we will probably hear his new word combinations again.

Although rare, there were occasions of laughter. This was elicited by reference to “climate change,” “health care politics,” “meetings of both parties,” and the timing of the new budget freeze—“next year.” The latter because the audience realized that it affected less than 1% of expenditures. The laugh lines delivered the only evidence of any awareness that he might possibly be less than perfect.

Unlike most of his orations, he led off with a pep talk during the first 7 minutes of how great and resilient, Americans are. He failed to observe that we had better be if we are to endure three more years of his presidency.

As I listened, it came to me that we live in two different countries. And, we do. He lives in a world of constant physical protection, perpetual travel to exotic locations (Elyria, Ohio?), a body slave for his every need, unwarranted praise and reward for unseen accomplishment, ritual respect for the office he holds, and absolute satisfaction of his need for self-aggrandizement.

My neighbors and I live in a world of knowledge of issues which never cross his mind. We are much aware that a gallon of orange juice, although well priced at Wal-Mart, is over a dollar less (a popular sale item) at a different local market. We avoid traveling to Springfield, a larger market center, because we realize just getting there entails additional expense and often defrays any savings from the trip. When we have a car which exceeds 250,000 miles, (’93 Explorer) we love driving it more than when it was new. It’s a point of pride. His implied criticism of senator-elect Nelson driving a well worn pick-up betrayed his utter lack of knowledge of the real world. I would be extremely surprised to find he had ever ironed a shirt. We understand economics at a painful gut level in order to survive. We all share liberally in dropping our pittance in the collection plate at church because we realize our collective effort can make a real difference to others.

Our interests in life rarely co-mingle. How can I expect him to ever understand what it’s like for folks to scratch out a living even in the best of times? He is surrounded by a community (Washington, D.C.) where workers enjoy an average income nearly 60% higher ($74,000.00 annually) than the US average and unemployment rate which is only 40% of current reported figures. It is obvious he has gamed the system from the git-go. An affirmative action education, subsidized publishing, insider real estate deals, and unwarranted Nobel awards are not common currency for the average bear. How can anyone with such a background ever hope to appreciate the needs of the people? For certain, he would never see the humor in the BARACK bingo card.

For those with an interest in truth, we turn to the ever dependable Associated Press and their impressions of several areas where the president strayed. I choose AP because they have had an extremely sympathetic relationship with Obama over the last couple of years. It is a scathing indictment of twisting facts, projection of false outcomes, and in general, just telling lies. For their report, just click here. Do it; it’s worth the trip to a source not generally known to be hostile to the president and generally “in bed” with him since the beginning.

One cannot easily sum up the speech since the entire matter is ongoing. Aside from the outright lies, the speech sounded great, was artfully delivered and the coverage furnished a few laughs—the biggest being Alito mouthing “not true” concerning remarks about overturning portions of McCain-Feingold. Granny left me undisturbed to listen and watch the proceedings because she couldn’t stand the thought of enduring an hour and ten minutes of his blather. (Granny went to church.) I’m glad she did since I was able to confirm all of my pre-conceived notions about the speaker and his “programs.” Toward the end, I stopped counting the use of personal pronouns (I, me and mine) around seventy-something. Although I didn’t count them, I did notice that “we” was conspicuously absent. I remain comfortable with that because I see little that we have in common.

One item remains to be said. Someone needs to remind the president that George Bush had a Democrat congress for the last half of his term. Presidents do not pass legislation spending money or allocating budgets. Their only recourse is to object by the use of veto and even then may be over-ridden. Obama’s principal inheritance which he blames on Bush is a result of the actions of that congress. Barry, give it a rest. Man up and accept responsibility.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

C. Everett Koop Warns of Proposed HCR

We should be more than interested in the opinion of Dr. Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States from 1981 to 1989, on the proposed socialized medicine legislation before the congress. At ninety-three, he is still an admirable symbol of strength and rational thought. He makes a strong appeal in this ad which is being aired by The 60 Plus Association.

In spite of a recent round of political defeats, the administration is not going to simply allow this issue to enjoy a quiet death. It is obvious; they will use every ploy available in their Marxist play book to advance this odious new plan. Clink on the above link and enjoy seeing the vigor of Dr. Koop as he shares his views.

Thanks to Politico for the ad and the commentary.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Dangers of Complacency

In the euphoria over the election of Scott Brown to be interim senator in Massachusetts, we find an attitude of “we won” and the job is done. Well, the job is not done. It has only just begun. It may well be a suitable beginning but it is no more than that. Today, we are ten votes away from the simple majority it takes to prevail on the most elementary procedural votes. Please keep in mind that the vice-president (Joe Biden, D-Delaware) presides over the senate and votes in case of a tie. All that has been accomplished is the prevention of major legislation being forced over our thin forces in that body.

The principal accomplishment in Brown’s election was putting the fear of God and the electorate, in many Democrat senators that their own seats were in jeopardy. They rightly assume that if a sacred and solid seat cannot be protected by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi cabal then that is solid evidence that they might be happier on K-street as lobbyists. Then they wouldn’t have to put up with those pesky nosy voters.

With the knowledge of expanded electioneering in today’s politics, the last year of a senate term and nearly half of a representative’s tenure is occupied on the stump. With the next election a scant ten months away, their major concern is keeping the feed-bag well strapped in place and full. Like most workers, they live from payday to payday only in this case it’s from election to election. Have we so soon forgotten the perpetual election of 2007-8 with little else on TV? Actually, the damage done by congress is somewhat lessened by their preoccupation with the electoral process.

Cries of “term limits now” are largely wasted until we have a few more in those valuable seats that have a remembrance of who sent them there and what their purpose is. The Tea Party movement, abetted by the threat of an emergent third party, has their attention if not the abiding fear it should cause. That fear will only last so long as we keep their feet to the fire and insist on some semblance of patriotism. If you hope to awaken on a November morning and see the congress inhabited by Patrick Henrys, The Adams, and other notables from the past to pursue the original objectives of the founders, think again. Some will be imbued with those noble aspirations to restore originalism to the building but some will secretly harbor visions of latter day sinecure by duplicity.

That is the reason we must never yield to complacency. We must take nothing for granted and keep our skepticism honed to a razor’s edge. Regardless of party, we must keep our eyes wide open and be ever on the alert for any deviance from the campaign’s lofty promises and the actuality of governance. There must be a prevailing attitude of watchfulness and supervision to be certain we get what we paid for. All newly elected or re-elected persons must be kept aware of our watchful eye. “It’s a job and you do have a boss” should be our constant theme. This is not a call for overbearing supervision but rather the constant suggestion that we, the people, are watching what it is going on. You will not be punching a clock but your every vote, junket, and ear mark will be monitored. Fiscal irresponsibility will not be tolerated.

This will require some inconvenience on the part of the legislator’s unpaid supervisors. It will necessitate communication, visitation, and constant reminders for them “to dance with the ones that brung ‘em.” Plainly stated, we, as citizens have a duty to our neighbors and to our new leadership to be part of the management team. No one ever said cleaning the Augean stables was an easy job. All we have to do is, “git ‘er done.”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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