Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rabbi Daniel Lapin Nails It

I tuned in the last half of Glen Beck on Fox and caught a discussion with pastor Miles McPherson, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and the guy, Dave Roever, who had the phosphorous grenade blow up in his face. They are each men of exceptional faith and apparently close enough to their Maker to have a better understanding of Him and His teachings.

The startling revelation came with the remarks from Rabbi Lapin. For the atheist, he assigned a comparison to a parasite. Like his natural counterpart, he is willing to feed on the host and contribute nothing. The atheist American citizen is willing to insist on constitutional protections from a document which not only references God but was written by the founders who publicly asked for His guidance. He further absorbs the benefits, both charitable and moral, which the faithful contribute to society. While attitudes which reflect goodness, mercy, compassion, acceptance, and general order are not unique to the faithful they are frequently doctrinally required and generally govern their behavior.

People of faith, admittedly to widely varied experience, have a generally accepted set of moral guidelines which supercede their individual selfish desires and create fewer problems in society. The atheist then enjoys the protections afforded by theses attitudes when he is careless with his property, when he enters an unmarked intersection, when he enjoys the price structure of businesses which enjoy minimal pilferage. Beyond property, the atheist enjoys the courtesy, the smiles, the modulated speech, the occasional aid, and the peace which a deep faith provides Or, in other words, just about every aspect of his life has a benefit provided by those who acknowledge a Higher Power.

Are all persons of faith perfect? Heavens no! Once they have erred, however, they are taught to seek forgiveness, make necessary restitution, repent of further duplicate action, and strive to continue to live their lives in concert with God.

Rabbi Lapin, your observation is spot on. When man has God as a constant companion there is a highly visible and beneficial affect upon society as a whole for which, we thank Him.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glenn Beck – A Clearer Understanding

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that he has made his mark on the current unsteady political scene. Some were disappointed that he did not firmly ally with the Tea Party movement. Others thought he should have had an all-out assault on the current administration. A small percentage seemed resentful that he obviously relies upon God Almighty for direction and his moral values. None, however, accused him of not having a wealth of ideas and personal opinions.

By now, observers have dissected his every word to determine his aims both clearly stated and subliminal. His choice of date (the anniversary of the MLK “I had a Dream” speech,) his reliance upon the appropriate numbers of peoples of color as speakers, the massive crowd (now accepted as roughly about a half million,) directed the event to more of a commemoration than a typical political rally. That was as it should be. Even the venue (the Lincoln Memorial, the western anchor of the National Mall) served the purpose he came to share.

For the best recap I have seen, so far, I strongly recommend you visit the "Chicago Boyz" website and read the article by Lexington Greene. He examines with crystal clarity, Beck’s purpose and the possible impact it could have upon the nation. It has also attracted hundreds of commenters, 90% of whom agree with Beck to a greater or lesser degree. I promise your understanding of the event will be greatly enhanced by following the link.

I greatly regret that circumstance prevented my attendance at this event. I believe that it may prove to be a turning point in the struggle to regain our collective national purpose and our historic identity. Now, go back and click on the link and enjoy Lexington Greene’s evaluation of the event and, more important, the man.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Car Czar Rattner Joins Rats Deserting the Ship

Part of politics is that sooner or later someone is going to make the mistake of telling the truth; or, at the least, the truth as they see it. The obvious result is, not all your former associates in government are going to be thrilled to hear the revelations. Such is the case with Steven Rattner who most recently was the “czar” in charge of the auto takeover of GM and Chrysler.

Rattner has written a book, “Overhaul” which could probably benefit from the buzz over the “tell all” nature of the contents. In the text he observes Obama making political decisions about fiscal matters regarding the auto takeover. The former New York Times Reporter has a few problems of his own to deal with. Apparently the SEC has an interest in some self promotions of investments and the use of political leverage.

Part of the appeal of the “czar” positions is the salving of the narcissistic personality which requires that elevated acknowledgment. As November grows nearer, look for more of these folks coming forward with their own version of their experiences with a fellow sufferer. Let us hope it becomes equivalent of a pen full of ravenous wolves.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Oil Patch Blows Again

Amidst hysterical reports of another “oil rig” blowing we find that it was not a “rig” but a platform. There is a critical difference. A “rig” is the essential tool for drilling for oil. Once the “rig” is successful, there are massive equipment and personnel changes and the facility becomes a “platform” to facilitate the continued extraction of crude. A drilling operation can involve as many as 60 to 80 men to cover the shifts (12 on, 12 off) and the support workers (cooks, administration, monkeys, etc.) Far fewer workers are required to watch the oil run through the pipes.

Obviously, any explosion and subsequent fire on an offshore platform is serious business. Most of the guys I knew who worked there saw it as the potential catastrophe which it represented. As a result they kept in mind that their hide was in the game and conducted themselves accordingly. When you’re 60 miles out in the Gulf, south of Vermillion Bay, you can’t just go across the street to watch your house burn down until the fire trucks arrive. Instead you inflate your flotation devices and go over the side—if you are fortunate enough to survive the explosion.

At the moment the report is of 12 survivors known with one in doubt.

The larger issue is that of the resistance of the courts to Obama’s drilling bans. That is plural because he has adopted the posture of issuing another one upon rejection by the courts of the previous one. From his actions during the Deepwater Horizon spill and his clearly stated attitudes toward oil extraction in general it is safe to assume, he views drilling in the US and it’s its territorial waters as an enemy of the state. That would be defined as his concept of what the state should be and not the general idea held by the people who enjoy private transportation, using electricity, warm homes in winter, lubricants, and the many other things which oil production enables.

Accidents on platforms are not all that rare and receive little publicity beyond local papers and other news sources unless they support a larger agenda. I have long thought that the foot dragging on the Horizon spill was intentionally prolonged and overstated in support of Obama’s opposition to drilling as a practice and not his now famous incompetence.

Am I the only one who missed the comprehensive investigation of the cause of the Deepwater Horizon disaster? I need a link to the site where the initial cause of that debacle was clearly outlined. Most large corporations are only too eager to pin the blame for such a tragedy on someone or some piece of allegedly faulty equipment and escape personal responsibility. Nothing happens by “accident.” There is a cause, whether known or unknown, to every thing. After four months one would reasonably expect some sort of explanation. Even shacks which burn to the ground can be explained by the physics of friction induced fire which results when the insurance policy rubs against the mortgage. While I doubt that was the cause of the Deepwater blast, something was. With the campaign promise of the “most transparent government in history” still ringing in our ears, might we soon expect to hear the cause?

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God is Good !!

It’s 10:30 AM and so far we have registered slightly over 2.5 inches of water in the rain gauge. Our faithful readers may now rejoice with us for this boon which breaks a month long drought. We had no (that would be 0” precipitation during August) hint of moisture in any of its varied configurations.

For readers, dependent upon a fully staffed and adequately supplied municipal water system, our concerns must seem bizarre. It’s a “living in the woods” thing. Don’t misunderstand and think we would trade for “store bought” water. One of the things I did when I first looked at the property was go to the kitchen sink, cup my hand and draw enough water to taste. The former owners appeared amused by that action but it was the clincher on the deal.

It was cool, clear, tasteless and reminiscent of the water I remembered from my distant youth. It had the natural purity which can only be obtained by seeping down through hundreds of feet of sandstone and other less stable rock to more solid formations in the “basement” rock of the aquifer below. This barrier is about three hundred feet down. Thus contained from below it becomes a characteristic “artesian” in the Ozark Aquifer.

In a tiny well house behind the main dwelling, we find a simple set up. The water, elevated from the well by a submersible pump is drawn directly to a 50 gallon pressure tank with an adjustable setting which is then fed to a central system in the house and the outside faucets an hydrants. To cope with occasional periods of sub-zero weather, the well house has a 100 watt bulb which operates 24/7 in winter and maintains the interior temperature at about 45°. During the more temperate periods this cement block house (five high) is well insulated and provides a home to a large family of wasps which nests in the eaves.

Four fifty foot hoses, when joined, then allow possible irrigation in a 200’ radius. That equates to a coverage area of 2.77 acres. Anything beyond that scope is then dependent upon natural rain for additional growth and “greening.”

We are fortunate to live very close to the originating spring for the adjacent river—less than five miles. Another lesser spring is even closer and allows us to measure the actions of the well concealed aquifer. Throughout August, with no rain, the river has continued to flow; albeit reduced, but never dry.

(UPDATE: The gauge at 11:30 AM now shows 3.7” and the rain continues.)

The lessons learned in this experience will serve us well for the future. Even though our well never faltered through this prolonged dry spell, we have exercised conservation measures on water usage. For example, we learned of settings on the dishwasher which use about half the normal requirements. Some articles of clothing may be worn more than one day and no load was washed that was not full. Prioritizing necessary suffering plants (grapes, ivies, hydrangea, tomatoes, etc.) for life sustaining irrigation became a studied art. Long, slow showers became a luxury we could not afford. The Explorers are now cleaned of their accumulated soil by natural means. We also learned to practice an automatic revulsion to touching any of our large number of faucet handles. The greatest lesson has been not to take for granted the gifts which the Lord provides.

Since the river runs extremely close to the exit road from the property in both directions, we are now faced with the possibility of isolation by flood. Occasionally in the past, we have had this happen so it would be a predictable result of this life-giving rain. We are well-provisioned for the next few days and Granny is not scheduled to work until Friday so we are well prepared to just “hunker down.” Now, or at least by the weekend, I will no doubt return to the business of mowing the four acre yard which it has not experienced since August 7th.

A quick review of national news reminds us that we are indeed, fortunate. Somewhere in the country at just about any given moment some location and its peoples are suffering from a natural disaster be it flood, fire, cyclone, tornado, extreme heat or cold, or in the case of New York—bedbugs. Granny brought an expression to our marriage from her upstate New York background which covers it all nicely—“You’ll have this.”

It’s 11:30 AM and I checked the gauge one last time before I close and found 4.4”. I best check with Granny and see if she remembers where I put the plans for the ark.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pink Glove Dance

This is about as far from politics as you can get. In the interest of breast cancer awareness we invite you to enjoy this short video and marvel at the talent of the staff at this hospital.

Go on; click on the link and share the joy of these dedicated professionals and their support staff—trust me, you’ll love it.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Slam Beck – Get a Reward!

On two separate levels, the Huffington Post has engaged in self-defamation of the highest order. According to Free Republic, Beau Friedlander formerly associated with the now defunct Air America and current contributor to Huffington Post penned an article which put a price on Glenn Beck’s head. He has offered $100,000 (not his money, but negotiated) to anyone with documentary evidence of the “sins of Glenn Beck.” The hit piece of choice would be a “sex tape”, phone records, or just about anything scandalous that a reader could come up with.

The offer is a “copy-cat” of the Andrew Breitbart offer to supporters of the Congressional Black Caucus to produce any documentation of the Tea Party miscreants who supposedly hurled insults at the members in a well publicized walk in Washington. What he is offering to finance for a princely sum, is the revelation of information which may well prove to be common knowledge.

Beck, who freely admits his association with Alcoholics Anonymous, has volunteered that prior to seeking recovery he was leading a life that was not stellar nor was he a suitable role model for any other than a barrel of drunks. He was not motivated by a cash outlay to make these admissions but rather to share his distasteful experiences as an example of “what not to do.”

Friedlander, whose principal goal is to destroy Beck and that for which he has become an extremely public face, obviously misses the point. He chooses to ignore that “the program” insists upon admission of past error, a heartfelt desire to change, and consequent effort to return to atonement. Beck would be the first to share his story with a fellow sufferer if he saw that person’s desire to turn his life around and acknowledge a higher power was available to assist.

Finding bad behavior of former alcoholics is analogous to finding cows**t in a milking parlor. The truly pious, saintly and virtuous are rarely observed as “first timers” at any AA meeting. They come, often as a last resort, to escape the conscience crushing realities of the life they lead. Despite the name which incorporates the word “anonymous,” some of us realize that, while desirable, anonymity following a life of public drunkenness and its consequences is nearly impossible.

The single most often misunderstood feature about AA, and churches as a whole for that matter, is appreciating that their membership does not claim perfection but acts positively to attain promised God given forgiveness.

In the final analysis, the offer of a negotiated cash allowance for the “Sins of Glenn Beck” speaks more to Friedlander’s ignorance of the process of recovery from alcoholism than any misbehavior of Beck. Beau; maybe you might enjoy going to a meeting and hearing those golden words which are the first uttered on the road to recovery: “Hi, I’m Beau, and I’m an alcoholic.”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 162

Good grief! You mean to tell me that my late Sundays have been devoted to compiling the “Monday Morning Rant” a hundred and sixty two consecutive evenings? That’s over three years of very unaccustomed regularity. Maybe I should think about “getting a life.”

You might be interested in the reasoning for having the weekly rant on Monday morning. Governments, regardless of party, have a nasty habit of airing iffy news from late Friday evening, through Saturday, and on to Sundays. The current administration has mastered the art. Therefore, I carefully scan the news over the weekend, looking with the righteous assumption that they are hiding something and to be sure I am not deprived of expressing my outrage before it becomes “old news.” Hey, don’t thank me, just keep on dropping by. A prime example follows.

Another “Fake” Tea Partier

In a continuing saga, we find a string of folks who assume the mantle of the Tea Party and allegedly do everything from shoot up Democrat campaign headquarters (see Russ Carnahan, D-MO, and his former aide,) hurl epithets at the Black Caucus (see Breitbart’s Big Government for rebuttal,) and most recently, Bruce Majors.

This guy published a map of DC for the Tea Party folks coming to hear Glenn Beck to instruct them on how to avoid dangerous neighborhoods in the District—as if that were possible. He gave tips on what public transportation to avoid plus how to act around people of color, all the while claiming to be part of the movement.

Fortunately, Benjamin Sarlin of the Daily Beast did some digging and found that this dedicated—so called—conservative has given over $15,000 to various Democrat interests since 2003. His only claim to fame is a donation to Rep. Jim Kolbe back in 2003 for $250. His vested interest in that case appears to be driven mostly by the fact that Rep. Kolbe was the only “outed” gay Republican in the House. For the rest of Sarlin’s observations, click here.

Of course, the mainstream media ate it up as they do with any opportunity to disparage the Tea Party, conservatives or Republicans. I do wonder though; is crow tastier fried or boiled?

Harry Reid loses NRA Endorsement

In this recent announcement by Chris Cox at the NRA, we find that they are looking critically at more than votes on individual relevant legislation on firearms. The posture on the two most recent Supreme Court nominees, both of whom are highly suspect in 2nd Amendment matters, apparently figured in the decision by the NRA.

It is highly probable that the established posture of a person assuming that high office would have a greater impact on matters of gun control than just about any piece of legislation. In the case of both Sotomayor and Kagan, we find some squishy constitutionalism muddying their intellectual waters. The beauty of that document lies in the clear cut language which in most amendments starts out by saying “Congress shall make no law.” It will take some serious convolution to misunderstand that injunction.

By reversing the formerly assumed posture of the NRA, we may now expect a huge boost for Sharron Angle in her effort to unseat the long term senator, Harry Reid in Nevada. It is possible that this development may prove the necessary straw to break Nevadan’s hide bound affection for their incumbent. They do love their guns.

Victor Davis Hanson Fully Understands

Before I provide the link, let me assure you that I have an immense respect not just for the writing style of Victor Davis Hanson but also his understanding of and his portrayal of the country he loves and its people. In his usual manner he nails it.

This “Ground Zero Mosque” thing has gotten out of hand and is not helped by the disappearance of Rauf into the warrens of diplomacy. Given his attitudes and subsequent accusations it might be prudent if he were to stay abroad. Meanwhile, keep in mind that he is doing it on the American taxpayer’s dime.

Most important, Hanson clearly explains how so many with a voice manage to enrage the speech deprived with their notions of who and what America is and what it stands for. For the clearest breakdown of the divergent attitudes, click here. and enjoy a man who is not only a superb writer but a deep thinker as well.

The Abilene Paradox

Because I’m clumsy with embeds, URLs, and other computer magic I was tempted to just leave this alone. I changed my mind because I think it is too important to miss and also we can all benefit from seeing this short little video.

It deals largely with group decision making and the possibility of disastrous results. I promise you will relate to at least one or more of the examples shown and gain much in your further understanding of human relations.

To see this short, yet priceless video go to Ace of Spades and scroll down to Sunday, Aug. 28 and find the piece posted by Open Blogger at 05:1l entitled Abilene Paradox. Humor me and go the link and you may just see yourself participating in some equivalent madness. I did. Granny did. We both escaped unharmed and you may too if recognize the problems of group dynamics.

And finally

The Glenn Beck thing at the Lincoln Memorial in DC apparently went off without a news-worthy hitch. That’s a good thing. The criticisms were pretty much standard for the breed of liberals who lodged them. Since I have experienced carrying a big sign around all day I see that as an endorsement from the crowd that they were banned. No public complaint has been registered in that regard.

The crowd size was reported as between “several dozen” to over a million. No doubt that was the result of a broken calculator by the news agencies covering the event. About the only agreement which could be reached is that Al Sharpton’s was quite a bit smaller. As I was unable to attend and observe, we can’t use the Moon “Porta-Potty” line metric to determine the size of the group. From the pictures, the 500,000 looks pretty good.

All in all, it appeared to be a very successful event.

You are no doubt as sick of hearing about this as I am in relating it. We haven’t seen a real rain in about three weeks and my 4 acre pride and joy yard looks a lot like an ill kept parking lot. It’s brown and brittle and I seriously question if it will come back again. Irrigation is out of the question due to Granny’s proclivity for clean dishes, laundry, and person. I’m pretty sure I don’t even want to know how she’ll react to toting the clothes down to the river to beat them on a rock. The well is good so far but we have yet to see a drought this severe. My only encouragement is that the neighbors don’t seem all that concerned. There’s a 30% chance of rain on Tuesday so please pray for us.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Afterthoughts on Glenn Beck, Faith and Rallies

The 828 rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is over—or has it just begun?

The most common complaint from the liberal left is the intrusion of faith into what was anticipated to be a political rally. They seem disappointed that direct assaults on the president, congress, and Democrat Party hacks were downplayed in favor of the elevation of God in our lives. It is apparent that they consider playing the “God” card is dirty politics. From their narrow view of matters spiritual, it probably is.

As we listen to the Beck detractors, it becomes increasingly obvious that they have never listened to a full broadcast of his nightly show on Fox. They describe his daily sermons in any number of different pejoratives to dismiss the very obvious impact of his faith on his life. They grow extremely uncomfortable with his constant acknowledgment of God’s presence in his now successful existence. This is typical of those who do not have the benefit of including God in their lives. If you are part of the liberal elite you are above such plebian interests. They become even more offended if you include God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ.

Even for those who only watch his show, even occasionally, you have heard him acknowledge his failures, his gained insight into his error, and his subsequent repentance. Like your host, with unqualified support from the Almighty, he managed to identify his problems with alcohol and turned his life around to a straighter, narrower path. He listened and then finally heard and understood the road to recovery which depends upon the faith to enjoy the help of a Higher Power.  The principal goal then is not to atain perfection; but forgiveness.

To a fellow sufferer, he carries the none-too-subtle outward signs of recovery. It takes one to know one and in his case, it is obvious. What is difficult to explain to those who haven’t had the experience is the presence of overwhelming gratitude for the progress of the recovery. After a personal thirty years in recovery, be advised that the use of the word “cure” is never appropriate. It is unrealistic, overly optimistic, and inappropriate for the condition. For those in pursuit of relief from the addiction, alcohol is described as “cunning, baffling and powerful.”

When we consider the man in the appreciation of his struggle for recovery, it then becomes very easy to understand his acknowledgment and appreciation of God. Even in the face of a massive ego, he has shown a willingness to sublimate himself to further his hard won beliefs. For him not to give God the Glory and recognize Him as the most important factor directing his life would be to deny the most important event in his life—the date his recovery commenced.

Lacking this experience, his critics—and they are legion—continue to see all things through the lens of their own eyes and minds. They are hard wired to believe that all things spring from their inner most thoughts and actions to the exclusion of a higher power. They see their individual success coming from themselves with no assistance attributable to any source other than secular. When Beck gives due credit to others and his personal concept of God, they find embarrassment that he is willing to share the joy. He is willing to realize that although man has done some remarkable things he has been subject to a guiding force. His detractors rigidly insist upon the supremacy of man and their own private ideas.

When all is said and done, the hardest pill to swallow is, his obvious success which speaks to the wisdom of his beliefs. The size of the crowd on the National Mall on 8/28 screams in agreement with the message which was delivered. How many complaints have been heard from those in attendance about the text given? Beck fans knew in advance, from experience, what the program would be. They had invested time and effort to understand the man and anticipate what would be going on. They were not in the least surprised by any of it. In fact, many traveled hundreds of miles to see in person that which had become so familiar on their home TV’s.

It is little wonder that those who are put off by the presence of God in their lives and in public, would find a wealth to criticize. Would this then qualify as an “inconvenient truth?” As a point of fact, we find that there are millions of Americans who relish the opportunity to be with and hear those who share their beliefs. Their individual local faiths are then overridden by the more general realization of a single benevolent God. May He be with them always.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon