Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who Done It?

We live in a world obsessed by crime stories. We have a conditioned reflex to identify the victim and then the perpetrator. The normal process is then to seek, through evidence, motive and ability, proof of the crime and then prosecute the villains. This fascination with solving crimes established Conan Doyle as an author and the reputation of his lead character, Sherlock Holmes, as the master sleuth. Holmes was introduced in 1887 in Doyle’s work the Study in Scarlet and our fascination with crime has never abated but rather provided an avalanche of interest by the public over the next 133 years. Witness if you will, the massive presence of “crime dramas” on your TV menus. People are sympathetic to those who seek justice.

Whether by deranged individuals, self-seeking nations, or ideology; humanity is offended by unrepentant criminality. The willful and unpunished perpetrator then becomes a stain on the fabric of our lives.

Today we commemorate the ninth anniversary of the most heinous crime to ever occur on American soil. The horror of the event is encapsulated in the innocence of the victims. They fell into two general categories: those who were simply reporting for a normal work day with no particular axe to grind and those who lost their lives attempting to rescue them. Although a huge element, the loss of property pales to insignificance in comparison to the loss of life. In total, 2977 persons from 70 separate nations lost their lives in addition to the 19 total suicide perpetrators.

Unlike the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor, one could not easily assign a national interest to those who carried out the attack on the twin towers. Even the attackers had variant nationality although Saudi Arabia contributed the majority of the highjackers. Various leadership positions have been identified and al Qaeda claimed responsibility but absolute responsibility remains murky still. There is one common element which all the criminals involved share—the ideology of Islam.

As a nation with a constitution which demands respect for a huge variety of religions and protects each of those faiths equally, we have a conflict in seeking retribution. Sorting through the problems of dealing with the ideology of Islam which espouses “death to infidels,” has become a major barrier to action which respects the 1st Amendment. As Americans with a good grip on our history and the founders’ intent, we are hobbled by our understanding of our sacred document and inhibited in seeking justice for those who have sullied our national purpose. It is possible that the time has come to clearly define that which is a religion and that which is an ideology. To not do so may well spell the end of our nationhood as we know and understand it.

If 9/11 were an isolated incident and not accompanied by rejoicing at the time on the streets of various Islamic communities in the world, it would be a completely different matter. Obviously the news of America’s loss was greeted more as a military victory than a successful criminal action among the believers in Islam. The broad smiles of Muslims and signs (in English) proclaiming “death to America” do little to substantiate the allegation of “a religion of peace.” The evidence clearly points instead to an avowed enemy which holds a vision of our complete and absolute destruction in mind.

For those who wish to hide behind claims of tolerance and historic actions of other divergent faiths the time has come to confront the willful destructive force which resides in the hearts of the Islamist ideology. The failure to understand the effectiveness of the surge in the Iraq war is symptomatic of misunderstanding the psyche of the Islamic mentality. When confronted with absolute power they are cowed and respectful. To cede the high ground of superior force is understood in that region as capitulation and cowardice. This is what happens when we declare a withdrawal date for troops in any Islamic theater. Their attitude is based upon having a century’s long history in the region and the patience to wait until we are exhausted. Facing a billion and a quarter protagonists with a millennium of experience cannot be successful unless we continue to the end.

Conan Doyle, through Sherlock Holmes would have remarked: “elementary my dear Watson.” This is not about revenge, or retribution, or retaliation. It is about sustaining the existence of the most benign force this earth has seen since the advent of Jesus Christ. We have made mistakes as a nation but to ignore this particular threat would be the death of life as we know it. To depend upon mounting bureaucratic security measures in lieu of active resistance to the threat is suicidal for our nation. Turning to the United Nations would be the epitome of insanity. We are an exceptional nation because we learned long ago to clean up our own mess. Yes, we have had allies and will continue to have but eventually, it will be our initiative which will win the day.

What better day than September 11, to realize what we must face as a nation and to resolve to summon the will to do so. May God help us!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Friday, September 10, 2010

Obama and Christianity

Amid the raging controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque”, burning Korans, and the Muslim outrages world wide, we have an issue of importance to some about the religious identity of our president. Rather than share my opinion, I shall turn to Mychal Massie and quote a post in its entirety which I found at The Vail Spot .

It consists of Massies’s analysis from his position as a Christian and active in public and private life. I encourage you to read on and form your own opinion.

“In the aftermath of Obama's unsolicited, controversial dictates over the Ground Zero mosque debate, White House image-makers are now trying to convince the public he is a devout Christian. Specific to that point, he may not be a Muslim, but I'm convinced he isn't a Christian, either.

As evidence of his devoutness, the White House has entered into evidence that he allegedly prays every day. Let me be clear – praying every day no more makes one a Christian than walking across a stream makes one a fisherman.

A true Christian, i.e., a born-again believer, is a person who has put his faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ – including His sacrificial death on the cross as propitiation/payment for our sins, His crucifixion and resurrection and the understanding that this same Jesus will, at a time appointed return to gather unto Himself His own.

Simply believing there is a God or "god" doesn't make one a Christian. The New Testament tells us, in James 2:19, that the very "demons also believe and tremble." In the Book of Job we have record of God addressing Satan (Job 1:6-12). Ergo, if Satan and the demons are acknowledged as knowing God exists from first-person experience – just believing there is a God simply places a person among a legion of not so pleasant beings.

My point being – prayer and belief sans confession, repentance and acceptance of Christ in one's heart is hot air. Being a "good person" doesn't make one a Christian either, nor does being an outwardly religious person. Being a Christian, devout or otherwise, is more than that – it placing our eternal life in the hands of One we have not seen, based on a faith that many scorn (John 3:1-21, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 3:21-28, Hebrews 11:1-3).

Neither do good works make one a Christian. John Gotti and Al Capone did many good works within their communities, and still others convicted of heinous crimes are said to have seemed like good persons. The mark of a true Christian is love for others and obedience to God's word. That doesn't mean acceptance of others' sinful and aberrant behavior – it means love enough for the person committing same not to want to see them perish.

A true believer is a child of God, a part of God's family and one who has been given new life in Christ Jesus. Intellectuality has no place with God; self-anointed "christianship" is a falsehood.

Some will no doubt spew forth the plaintive wail of false teachers and those whose hearts have been hardened, and rail "judge not, less [I] be judged." But that, too, is most frequently misapplied. I'm not judging by appearance – I'm judging according to "life" and what biblically based, Christ-like attributes Obama displays. What one thing has he done or said since taking office that can be unequivocally said to be the words/actions of Christ in man?

Scriptures tell us that by our works we shall be known (Matthew 7:15-20). Where is Obama's fruit? I think it can be reasonably argued that, if he were a Christian following after Jesus, there would be no questions about his faith. If his actions were Christ-like, people wouldn't question whether or not he is a Muslim.

This isn't about color or race. There are many persons of color in very public capacities that do not have these questions swirling around them.

America is in need of truly godly leaders – and the fact that we are lacking same is evidenced by the condition our country finds itself in today. America is rapidly becoming a place where Christians need not apply. The country is the recipient of what the church is producing. If Obama had spent 20 years under a truly God-fearing, Bible-preaching, Christ-filled pastor, would we today have these questions? Obviously, we cannot say with absolute certainty that wouldn't be the case – but I submit the chances greatly favor that we wouldn't.

A true Christian is more concerned about the eternal benefits of service than about endorsing behaviors and teachings that are antithetical to the God of Scripture. God doesn't care what color a person is, nor whether you are a man, woman or child – He cares that we accept His Son, lead others to Him, and live Christ-centered lives that make others want to be like "that" which they see in us.

Specific to that point, I see nothing in Obama I want to be like."


Mychal Massie is chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives-Project 21 – a conservative black think tank located in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as the 2008 Conservative Man of the Year by the Conservative Party of Suffolk County, N.Y. He is a nationally recognized political activist, pundit and columnist. He has appeared on Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NBC, Comcast Cable and talk radio programming nationwide. A former self-employed business owner of more than 30 years, Massie can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for taking the time to read Massie’s thoughts on this issue. Personally, I think it is outstanding.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obama, Going to the Dogs

Today marks a landmark in the Obama presidency. From the soaring approval numbers in the polls immediately following the election, we find some twenty months later that BHO has reached the nadir of his public acceptance. Rasmussen, the leader in verifiable polling results, reported the overnight finding at -24%. This is achieved by comparing the “strongly” approve/disapprove numbers, 47 vs. 23, and the difference, -24, is the index.

Removing the critical adverb “strongly” from the question, we find him lagging by a 58-41 margin of -17. A necessary reminder here is that Rasmussen predicted the final tally on Bush-Kerry and Obama-Bush with less than a 1% margin of error. In total, the numbers are the absolute lowest recorded for the president by the most accurate of all poll sources.

In a recent departure from his prepared remarks, the president complained that “people were treating him like a dog.” Having had a dog for a companion since 1937, I find his statement misses the mark by a wide margin. Each of the faithful, noble beasts who have enriched my existence over the years had a positive affect on my life. In return for their love, I made every effort to care for their needs and reward them for their service. Each was considered an active member of the family. However, none of them were ever allowed to accompany me on a journey using their own personal multi-engine jet as transport. Being “treated like a dog” apparently does have its perks.

Even Lyndon Johnson, whose conduct and policies in the White House I found most disagreeable, enjoyed one photo from the oval office which gave me a measure of hope for the man. He was shown, leaning back in his chair reading a multi-page document held in one hand and with the other he was idly scratching his dog’s head. I saw in that picture, a different perspective of his personality I had previously never observed. It served to temper my opinion of him from that day forward.

Understanding the narcissist is a life long study but one does not need endless years of education to either recognize one or see the negative affect he has on those around him. This individual will stand as a case study for years to come. As gradually we unwrap the endless layers of mystery concerning this president we shall find a soulless, egocentric man who has ridden affirmative action to outrageous heights. Fortunately, one only needs return to the Rasmussen numbers quoted above to see the American electorate coming to grips with the realities of their decisions.

As we continue to watch, often in horror, the activities of our government in lock step doing nearly everything they can to destroy America, it becomes more difficult to predict the end result. I’m confident, with certain reservations, that the electorate is starting to awaken. As the affects of our current financial difficulties turn from recession to depression with massive unemployment, depressed housing markets, and the lack of effective action from the government, how can anyone sleep through it? In hard numbers we now have a national debt equivalent to the grand total of every previous administration combined. Instead of solutions, we find ourselves deluged with distracting issues to divert our attention from the unrelenting problems we face as a nation. Oil spills, book burning, weather threats, vacation schedules, are the crisis de jour and noteworthy but nothing compared to the overthrow of the government.

For twenty months we have been reminded daily that the entirety of the nation’s ills belong on the shoulders of the previous administration. Might it possibly be the time to stand up, like a man, and take responsibility for his own actions? I realize that is inconsistent with the personality of the narcissist but it certainly would be a refreshing change. Gradually, the entire population—even leftists—will come to see the need for the restoration of sanity in our government. The only remaining question is; will they accomplish this attitudinal change before it is too late? God help us!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A “Heap o’ Nothin’” or a “Pile of Somthin’”

Who but Florence King would write a column and entitle it “Heap o’ Nothin’?” The piece in question appears in the “National Review” in the August 30, 2010 issue on page 39, in her regular column, The Bent Pin. You do subscribe to “National Review” don’t you? Her column alone is worth the price of admission. Enjoying the cream of conservative writers, Ms. King stands alone among the contributors. She has a salty style which is otherwise unavailable. No doubt, this was acquired growing up in the south in the thirties and forties.

As an example, I submit the following:

“They don’t call him “No Drama Obama” for nothing. He’s even worse than we thought because he has committed the ultimate American crime, worse than anything he has been accused of so far. He has no sense of humor. You can tell just by watching him at the mike that here is a person who knows the words but not the tune. You see him standing like a greyhound in the slips, straining upon the start, but he can’t sense where the start comes. Someone has over-coached him on the subject of “timing.” He doesn’t really feel it, he just knows that comedians are supposed to have something called timing, so he puts on a little half-smile and waits for it—you can almost hear him counting.

My ultimate prediction is based on the scientific certainty of female intuition. I have a feeling that a lot is going to happen. I sense that something is gearing up, gathering speed, starting to peek from behind the curtain. Lights keep going off in my mind like fireflies in a jar, and I already have a poem to go with it all: “Shine, Perishing Republic” by Robinson Jeffers.”

To read what came before and to complete what follows you will have to borrow a copy from your well-informed brother-in-law and finish it yourself. I imagine that National Review would be touchy if I quoted the entire thing.

As a geezer, I may have a greater appreciation of Florence King and an admiration for that segment of our society who don’t bother mincing words. We plainly don’t have enough time in life left to waste on platitudes and “the little niceties.”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Gratitude for Soundly Based Commentary

Labor Day is now past, cooler mornings are here, and the necessary tasks for the oncoming winter are being planned and executed. A little caulking here, checking windows and doors for leaks there, space heater maintenance in advance of necessity and filter replacement occupy the prudent home owner. This is a conditioned response to the onset of the inevitable. This advance preparation eases our departure from the lively growing season to the declining days of fall and then those three months of the dearth of winter.

With that dire threat knocking on the door, absent the joys of the preceding six months, what is there to lift our outlook to face the challenges? Actually, there is an abundance of distraction to raise our spirits and divert our attention from the wind and cold. So then, let us count our blessings and not fear the future.

Even though not as demanding, the upcoming two seasons will have much to challenge the physical man. In a rural setting, the last quarter mile of road finds access is guaranteed only by maintenance by the occupant of the property. Snow must be cleared, fallen limbs removed, and thus is access to the outside world assured. Once the leaves have fallen and the detritus swept aside we will enjoy the restoration of the marvelous view we have of the adjacent valley—and the road below. With the absence of the leaf cover, much will be revealed that needs attention. The hyper-active shop can finally be attended, cleaned, and generally reorganized without interruption from mundane daily activity. Soon, the light bulb in the well house will be activated to assure continuous service after the first freeze. It will be a time of smaller tasks with even greater importance.

Obviously, since we are married to the internet, we shall spend more time gathering information, digesting it and then sharing our opinions. As so many we know are returning to all levels of the education process, we also are prepared to enlarge our knowledge and share our thoughts as well. We observe that fall and that activity are a natural fit. In the run up to the November election, we anticipate much excitement will accompany the rise and fall of the various candidates and, hopefully, restore the progress of the nation. As I anticipate my 78th seasonal change, I truly believe that we face the most critical election our nation has ever had.

With that in mind, I shall make a personal recommendation of the Instapundit site and the small army of brilliant minds who inhabit it. My daily “favorites” list is arranged in order to start my day with that which I consider important. I lead off with Day-by-Day for grins and political observation. This is followed by The Drudge Report , the USGS Earthquake site—hey, I have a thing about tectonic plate movement, the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll to gauge changes in the national mood, and by force of habit, Knowledge is Power.

Then to prove my status as a creature of habit, I then check the weather, my email, my Stat Counter—just to see if you are awake yet—and then a dozen other blogs of interest. Scattered among them is an occasional visit to Huffington Post, Slate, and Daily Kos to measure the hysteria of the left. This process is interrupted by numerous trips to the coffee pot and personal recriminations concerning my sloth because it is now noon.

You will find the most frequently quoted blog is Glen Reynolds’s Instapundit. I find great comfort in the genius exposed there regarding current events. Victor Davis Hanson, Ed Driscoll, Roger Simon, and Mark Steyn are typical of the commentators who contribute to the website. They are joined by a host of others with equal intellect who grace those pages.

This particular post was inspired by a piece by Ed Driscoll who liberally quotes some of the other mentioned writers. To view a brilliant mind at work, I recommend clicking on the link and reading it.

For those who routinely follow Zion Beckons, we offer our heartfelt thanks. We promise, as the weather gets nippier, to provide an even greater supply of information to get your blood warmed up and moving. We also promise to remind you that as our government becomes less and less capable of managing their affairs that God is still in charge and his will, will prevail.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday, September 6, 2010

Victor Davis Hanson – The Best as Usual

I have long been a fan of Victor Davis Hanson. Now that I have read this piece in its entirety, I now know why. Here follow the opening paragraphs without any further introduction or comment:

“Since we seem now to be ruled during this administration by former professors, here is a rant about what I have learned of the university.

Looking back at forty years…

I have some experience in academia: I spent 3 years at UC Santa Cruz, graduating in classics, two more, graduate and undergraduate, in formal study in Athens, at the College Year in Athens and the American School of Classical Studies, four at Stanford University for a PhD in classics, and then a 21-year stint as a professor at California State University Fresno.

I farmed before, during, and after the university tenures. I can’t count my current life at the Hoover Institution or my month of teaching each year at Hillsdale College as quite the same experience. Both, after all, are aberrant academic institutions — in the sense that the faculties and mission of these institutions resemble pretty much those of America off campus. (I have never met more sane people than at both places.)

The farm and the life with it were great gifts from my ancestors. Almost every weekend as an undergraduate and graduate student, and then nightly as a classics professor, I returned to the farm. People in the environs there were not hostile to learning; they just assumed that being a professor or writer was, and should be, not any different from welding or tractor driving.

Living in rural Selma was a sort of vaccination against the academic virus of self-importance and collective timidity. One must be somewhat self-reliant when bare vines somehow in ten months must pay for diapers and formula, when so much — weather, pests, markets, neighbors, intruders — conspire to prevent that. Fairly or not, I always admired a guy who could feed his family from 60 acres of tree-fruit (I could not) — and especially a lot more than I did an English professor, at least the sort I met over the last forty years.

So what did I learn in the university? I’ll try to be a bit less specific than I was in Who Killed Homer? written over a decade ago.”

Now, to finish the piece, go to Pajama's Media and continue.  I shall not insult you or Dr. Hanson with further comment or observation. Neither of you require it.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday Morning Rant 163

I don’t know about you but I have long suffered from am overdose of self-, and over-confidence. From the standpoint of achieving a few minor victories in life it has served me well. From other circumstance, it has led to unanticipated disappointment. Part of this is slathering everything I see with a huge covering of optimism. I’m the guy you hear about who is constantly leveling the pile of manure looking for the pony.

After a long and happy life, I looked back and rethought some of the successes. In every case, it was not the self-confidence and the optimism which carried the day but rather, preparedness, hard work, and fighting the good fight to the finish. That last is especially important when it comes to the November elections. In that case, November 2nd is an important date but not as significant as Nov. 1—or Oct. 22—or Sept 15th—or for that matter, today. It is on those days and the other sixty we have left in which we will have to do yeoman’s work. Work, which, as an individual citizen we can do to insure a strong change in the government.

We need to buttonhole voters to be certain they clearly understand the threats which exist with government as it is. It’s not enough just to ask some one if they are registered. If they are not, help them through the process. Solicit any unanswered questions they have and be prepared to answer them honestly. Be certain that their transportation to the polls is covered. If you are comfortable doing so, local political action committees need volunteers to do dozens of jobs from licking envelopes to phone banks to individual solicitations of support. And yes, every campaign from Senator to dog catcher can always use a few extra bucks as well.

This is not about “change”, it is about restoration of the republic. Those folks you need to contact are your fellow workers, church members, members of your lodge or organization, people you encounter regularly where you shop and even live next door and we need their vote if this campaign is to be successful. Keep in mind there is no need to embarrass them over past decisions. The only election which counts is the next one.

No upcoming election can be taken for granted. Just because your candidate is in the lead according to the latest poll, he cannot win without your presence in the voting booth. The fact your guy is surging in the polls is a suggestion that he may win--it is not a guarantee. If your favorite candidate fails by one vote you can be at ease knowing it’s not your fault the deciding voter wasn’t contacted by you. The only poll that matters is the one we must all participate in on November 2nd.

For an effective and convincing win in November, it is absolutely essential that we take nothing for granted. Each pre-electoral activity, no matter how small it may seem at the time, is necessary to gain recovery for the nation. The time has come for each individual citizen to realize that his is the face of continued liberty.

“Non” News from the Labor Front

Enjoy Labor Day with the realization that unemployment continues apace at 9.6%. By stubbornly continuing governmental payroll taxes, prospective employers are looking for any excuse not to hire replacement workers. Rather than reduce or eliminate completely this onerous burden, many find it more productive to increase the load on the existing staff or replace, where possible, lack of personnel with machinery.

Obama has engineered the extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. This benefit from an administration which promises recovery in seasonal terms—can you say; “Recovery Summer?” It’s an historic high for this boon for the last sixty-five years. Those who deal in these statistics suggest that they encourage workers to accept the hand out and not look for employment. The psychological damage to those involved is equivalent to the result of having a reduced income.

Among my friends and neighbors, a man is appraised by his labor. Every new acquaintance, from the humble to the high, suffers the inquiry about the nature of his employment. No matter the response, there is an implied praise by the questioner, acknowledging the worth of gainful service to the community. If he works for the local trash service picking up discards from the curb, the worth of his efforts are well noted. If he is a professional of some sort, the benefit of his labor is also cited in the questioner’s response. I choose to believe that this is not peculiar to the Ozarks but a universal American trait. Today, however, folks dread the painful admission that our new friend is unemployed and “on the dole.”

Unlike Europe, people here in the US folks are apt to brag about extra hours and surviving an excessive workload. We’ve all heard it and subliminally mark a plus on our perception of the person who claims the distinction. You get no points for working under forty hours or otherwise shirking the norm. We are an exceptional people and this is one of strongest reasons why.

So what does this say about our chief executive and his compliant congress? It simply further underlines just how horribly out of touch this collective mob is with everyday Americans. Beyond the beltway, this is common knowledge. Within the outer ring, we appear to be a mysterious cult. God help the ignorant.

And Finally

After the lengthy complaints over the lack of rain, we finally got a bunch. So much, in fact, I found it necessary to commence mowing again after a one month hiatus. What a joy to watch the brittle, brown, and beleaguered yard regain its former appearance.

Additionally, the status of the level of reserve in the well is no longer our top priority. It is likely that our new found conservation measures will continue if for no other reason than sheer habit.

We would advertise that we trust in God to provide every needful blessing. In point of fact, we must admit that sometimes we wish He would hurry things along a little bit. As a result, perhaps it is better to realize He is still in charge, He loves and protects us, and He will do what is necessary, in accordance with His plan. I think I’ll just say “Thank you, Lord” and let it go at that.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon