Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not a beast

Man - somewhere along the evolutionary trail - took a turn from the way of the beast. What distinguishes man from the animal is his conscience. Way before Biblical tradition introduced the concept of sin, the ancient Egyptians recognized the existence of gods and consequences. Re was the supreme sun god. Sekhmet in Egyptian religion was the goddess of war and destroyer of enemies of Re. A fierce goddess, Sekhmet was called the "Eye of Re." She reminds me of the concept of conscience. An inner voice, a conscience in human consciousness, like an eye of God, differentiates right from wrong. The fact that Sekhet was associated both with disease and healing is reminiscent of the duo of sin and repentance A black marble statue to her in 1300 B.C. depicts a woman with the head of a lion, wearing headgear of a sun disk and a serpent. The Bible extends the tradition of a serpent in religion by making it the symbol of the devil. Winston Churchill said that "The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions." From the former must flow the latter. Even ancient civilizations reveal that spark that distinguishes man from the beasts and elevates him to a higher calling.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Princes and Princess

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) can’t be all bad.. Niccolo offered his short treatise, "The Prince" to Lorenzo the Magnificent of Florence, Italy with these introductory words: "Take this my little gift, in the spirit I send it and if you read it diligently you will discover in it my urgent wish that you reach the eminence that fortune and your other great qualities promise you." Though often misunderstood inspiration for the misled, "The Prince" still offers good advice. Obama and McCain, Biden and Palin take note. Machiavelli warns that "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand , more perilous in conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." He also reminds politicians that "When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content." And to the American voters, Niccolo also offers sage advice: "God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us." Remember, it is up to citizens to responsibly choose their representatives and leaders. The grave site of Machiavelli reminds us in Latin: "No elegy is equal to such a name." He who has advised princes (and an occasional princess) over time, certainly warrants consideration. "The Prince," says a Professor who appreciates Niccolo’s work, goes on "insisting to whoever will listen, on the necessity of gesturing toward history and the human community and toward a future whose darkness it has so brilliantly illuminated over the centuries."

Friday, August 29, 2008


Samadhi, "total self-collectedness" In Hindu and Buddhist religion and philosophy, the highest state of mental concentration that a person can achieve while still bound to the body and which unites him with the highest reality. Samadhi is a state of profound and utterly absorptive contemplation of the Absolute that is undisturbed by desire, anger, or any other ego-generated thought or emotion. It is a state of joyful calm, or even of rapture and beatitude, in which one maintains one’s full mental alertness and acuity. In Hinduism and Buddhism it is regarded as the climax of all spiritual and intellectual activity. In politics Absolute rapture, the encapsulation of inner satisfaction, is called a ‘home run.’

My question: Who hit the home run? Barack Obama in Invesco field last night with his acceptance speech or Sara Palin in Dayton today with her acceptance speech for the office of vice-president under John McCain? Yes, Sara hit the ‘home run.’ Yes, the cheering, approving Republican crowd exuded both ecstatic excitement and calm confidence in Sara. Supporters knew they could count on Americans to vote themselves and their self-interests into the White House in November, 2008. The incense, aura, power and mood of samahdi will drift across not only my state of Ohio but all of America. After the Republican’s ‘home run’, let the game continue.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bobble heads for Obama

Before I watch the bobble-heads for Obama acclaim their Messiah at the Pantheon in Denver, I need to embrace a few moments that put life into perspective. In my $1.00 per volume set of the New Encyclopedia Brittanica, 2002 edition, that I purchased at a local book sale, I find the perfect example. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an English poet and painter, reached heights in his brief life of 54 years, that Barack will never attain. Though homely in appearance, Rossetti was rendered attractive to the literate and literary world by his mastery of the both brush and pen, especially the sonnet. In a sonnet, he claimed, " the passionate and just delights of the body are declared to be as naught if not ennobled by the concurrence of the soul at all times." Bobble-heads for Obama, take note. All is not as it seems with the Messiah; appearances can be deceiving. A pretty face and form not "ennobled" by a depth of character and soul, are for naught.

Magnificent memorable lines from a sonnet of Rossetti’s remind me of the gift for which I am grateful. Nothing that Obama’s liberal, elitist, hedonistic, socialistic soul- even if empowered by the Oval Office - could hope to change, will ever wipe them away.

" Oh! Clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The hermeneutics of data

I look at data from both sides now. An optimistic - as opposed to pessimistic - interpretation can usually be found. 47 thousand Americans are worth more than 20 million dollars today and this number is 62% higher than in 1998. Is widening gap between rich and poor a bad thing? SAT test scores are at their lowest level in over a decade but now the test is taken by 40% of minority students (Blacks) up 1/3 from 10 years ago. Are the widening income and education gaps bad things? No, no. As proof, in 1963, my starting salary was $5250; in 2008, the median household income is $50,200. The five’s, two’s and zero’s have moved considerably to the left over 45 years.

Two rights will make a wrong if we allow analysts to tell us that the opportunities for wealth and education have not expanded over the years. If our freedoms remain intact, so do our choices to succeed or fail. Two wrongs, not studying hard or not spending income wisely can never be right. I end with a couplet:

With all the answers, poor little ole’ me
Sits here in my reading chair, sipping tea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"The slangy aggression of his paragraphs and the shifting perspectives of his canvases were attempts to keep alive the fast, sidewalk style of heated argument in which they were conceived." An art critic reminisces about the "maddening original" American movie critic and painter, Manny Farber.

"Particularly impressive were ...(her) deeply expressive phrasing; beautifully balanced, contrapuntal lines (two or more independent melodic parts, played simultaneously) ; and evenly articulated trills - though her fluid, Romantically inclined, interpretive sensibility was not to all tastes." A classical music critic reviews a performance of classical pianist, Simone Dinnerstein.

I can neither write like a master or master the keys like a Van Cliburn, but I know phoney erudition when I read it. I also know phoniness by the hairpieces and hair plugs worn respectively by Democrats Michael Bechloss and Joe Biden last night at the Democrat Convention in Denver.

Furthermore, I’m clued in to Michele Obama’s phoney demeanor by her inadvertent slips into ungrammatical ta, ta’s as she delivered her speech. For example, she said her husband wants "ta end the war responsibly." No Teleprompter can pronounce prepositions for her. Verbal slippages as well as her attractive Hollywood starlit makeup and straightened hair, unveiled Michele’s Stepford wife artificiality. Oh that I ever could hope to reform my naturally curly, undisciplined mane into one that would undulate as I turn my head by side to side.

The evening of liberal deception was marked by appealing but loaded, liberal statements and placards reading, "change, we can believe in." The capstone was the metaphor delivered by Michele via her speechwriter about the Obama phenomenon:

"The current of history meets the new tide of hope."

This set the Olympic standard for phoniness, but it did not prevent women in the audience who bought into her load of offal from being moved to tears. And there were many. Whoever is able to identify phoniness, wave you placard reading, "Not me, not me, thank God not me."

Monday, August 25, 2008

The war between the parties

What constitutes a restaurant? An elegant room, smart waiters, a choice wine cellar and superior cooking. Simple enough. What constitutes religion? The relation to that which human beings regard as holy, sacred, spiritual or divine. Complicated enough. Who is without prefix, without suffix and without apology (a self-description of Sam Rayburn a Democrat member of the House of Representatives for 48 years and speaker for 17 years)? A liberal, of course, who is on parade beginning tonight in Denver at their 2008 Presidential convention. Look for lies and hypocrisy camouflaged. by flag waving, complements and euphemistic, meaningless speeches. Personally, I wish the next 5 evenings could be passed by re-tellings of America’s early wars. 1702-1713 was the Queen Anne’ War, second in a series of wars fought between Great Britain and France in North America for control of the continent. Eventually French forces and their savage Indian allies lost to Britain. In 1755, the French Acadians in Nova Scotia were exiled to French Louisiana’s swamp lands at the start of the French and Indian War. The Battle of Quebec, 1759, in this war marked the fall of Montreal, a British victory encompassing the death of both French Montcalm and British Wolfe on the plains of Abraham. Exciting stuff. A third war involved the Battle of Quebec, 1775, in America’s quest for independence from Great Britain. Gen. Montgomery and Col. Arnold failed to capture Quebec and Canada. Good thing too since at that time our vision outreached our grasp of reality. Which leads me back to the liberal Democrats, plunking down a whopping carbon footprint in Denver this week in contrast with their claims to the contrary. Their restaurants must serve organic, colorful politically correct selections. They will invoke worship of their religion called environmentalism. Whether anti or pro, every item on their agenda, without apology, will call for increased spending, higher taxes and additional restrictions on our liberties. The war between Obama and McCain - like any dispute to the death between ideological rivals over prime turf - must end with a victor and a vanquished. Politics is a deadly, serious business.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Potemkin villages

The 2008 Games at the Potemkin village called Bejing have ended; the game of Democrat politics is about to begin in Denver, Colorado. Which will turn out to be the more colorful, disingenuous show? Which indeed! With Nancy Pelosi at the fore and speeches scheduled from old, fellow travelers like Carter, Clinton, Clinton and Gore, the fireworks should be spectacular, if not as unreal as computer generated special affects in films. The mantra for the convention as well as the campaign henceforth is "Give us Obama, give us Obama." Nancy speaks to the guiding spirit of this invocation when she reminds fans that "God has blessed us with a leader at this time,"... because liberal Democrats have a "planet to save." Such misguided inspiration defines the liberal Democrat party. Its misguided ideology jeopardizes America’s foundation of freedom and self-interest. Its inspired rhetoric empty of content threatens America’s traditions of moral clarity and common sense. At Denver, the Democrats aim for the gold - the White House. I surely hope they come away from the Colosseum without a medal.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Let’s analyze a few fours. President Dwight D. Eisenhower credited America’s military victory in World War II to 4 weapons: DC-3, Jeep, atom bomb and bazooka. California’s Saddleback Church pastor, Rev. Rich Warren, defines tolerance as: treating others with respect, not as: all ideas equally valid. Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama sometimes artificially affects the Black patois of the inner-city: dis, dat, dem, deciding. Barack said that businesses might be "decidin" to re-locate to Bejing because China’s infrastructure is now superior to America’s. Eisenhower the warrior, Warren the moralist, Obama the fraud. Mentally dandling and mulling over just four relevant words can offer insights into ideologies and vastly differing souls.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic gold

Forget Bejing Olympics. The quintessence of athleticism cantered to the gold in Hong Kong, August 20th, 2008. A Canadian’s mount, Hickstead, jumped into history winning the 2nd individual gold medal for Canada since 1968. The rider’s victory over drug abuse was eclipsed by the glorious performance of his horse to which he gave credit for the win as his fans cheered. Shameful, that a mere 15 minutes of sports’ coverage captured the climax of equestrian stories, dramas, achievement and excitement. Eric Lamaze, the wining rider, is familiar to me. I knew him from my frequent satellite visits to Spruce Meadows, an equestrian facility in Calgary, Canada, about a decade ago. A decade has been the waiting period for a great rider and horseman to achieve his dream. Grace surely has had something to do with it. I hope Eric realizes this 1st gift from God (grace) as he acknowledges his 2nd gift, the great Olympic competitor, Hickstead.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The meek don't inherit

"The weak are not loved and not heard, they are insulted, and when we have (nuclear) parity they will talk to us in a different way." This promise from Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov was uttered last year, 2007, not in 1946, 1963 or 1989. The soul of the Soviet Bear has not been transmogrified. Barack Obama, as the apotheosis of change and hope for America’s future would put us into a weakened position. His assiduity to a socialistic and liberal agenda would make us a tasty morsel for a hungry ursa. Our victim status would be assured. I tire of reading about the arrogance, imperialism and bullying of America. I acknowledge the futility of appeals to "natural justice," by various nations as justification for humanitarian intervention in countries where atrocities are being perpetrated against innocent civilians and practiced by warring factions. Why is it that no other country has done as much as America to foster freedom and justice in the world? Why is it that other countries don’t quickly intervene to prevent violations of human rights? Why is it that other countries accuse and condemned us for interferences? What I would like to hear from a patriotic leader are assured words of advice to the rest of the world that we Americans love ourselves because of our strengths and freedoms and have no intention of letting any pipsqueak or bully push us around. We can take care of ourselves as we utilize our natural energy sources. Thank you very much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Think on it: "To drink wine with reason is better than to drink water with pride." So said a Galatian monk who died before 431 A..D. Right reason, common sense, the pursuance of the golden mean make clear the boon of enjoying wine, one of life’s natural pleasures. The bar, on the other hand, of arrogance and self-righteousness, clearly replaces reason, common sense and the pursuit of the golden mean with unnatural extremes. The inescapable principle of duality, yin and yang, can be applied to virtually any empirical or metempirical phenomenon. Applied to alcoholic liquors, the good as pleasure vs. god-usurping pride. The abuse of spirits, whether beer, wine or distilled liquors, by young people, results from their lack of maturity, self-discipline and knowledge to properly evaluate and appreciate the nectar of the gods. Either at 18 or 21. We don’t need more regulations; we need education and Aristotelian reasoning.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To Wal-Mart & Exxon

I protest your present decision to increase your Corporation’s contributions to the Democrat Party. Their share now approximates 50%. What’s point? You are being a foolish capitalist who sells your enemy the rope with which he will hang you. Marx knew something that you apparently don’t. I am both a shareholder in your company and a patron of your products. Each time I fill up at the pump or pay at the cash register I admire you a little bit less. Your waste of money is shortsighted and unprincipled.

As Alfred de Musset said in the early 19th century, "How glorious it is - and also how painful - to be an exception." This great nation’s exceptionalism has been manifested throughout her history that allows for social mobility, enjoys religious practices, exhibits hostility to socialism, prevents the rise of an aristocracy or peasantry and maintains a tradition of guns. The liberal Democrat party has contributed nothing to the exceptionalism of America and would today attempt to compromise each of our exceptional, constitutional traditions. America’s one moral failure of slavery was even exacerbated by the Democrats.

Good thing I decide not only where to shop and with whom to invest, but also for whom I will vote. Rest assured my vote will never be against my country’s best interest - freedom -or for a liberal Democrat in the White House.

Monday, August 18, 2008

80/20 genius

I appreciate the genius who created the 80/20 rule. Applying the 80% and 20% rule leads to much fun. What percentage of Americans represents the optimist who sees the whole doughnut; what percent the pessimists who see only the hole? Which part of the country feels that Memorial Day allows the living to honor the dead; which part feels the occasion allows the Dying to pause to honor those who live? Which percent wants an Obama nation where leftist politics and the cult of personality rule; which percent desire an honest, straight-forward leader with a sense of humor? Which cadre of voters chooses to cross the Rubicon into a new land changed by socialism and governmental control; which cadre rightly fears taking the irrevocable step, like Julius Caesar, which ultimately led to his execution? Nancy Pelosi, Democrat, demi-god, speaker of the House of Representatives, called Obama, "a leader that God has blessed us with at this time." The future greatness of America hangs upon whether she and her ‘deliverer’ are supported by 80% or 20%. I believe that 80% of Americans could not actually vote for her puppet prophet; that only the liberal 20% have lost their minds to unreason.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Madonna of today

Lord Acton (1834-1902), English historian, poignantly referred to his unfinished lifework - a history of liberty - as "The Madonna of the Future." The future is today when we have literally the corrupt Madonna and figuratively the corruption of American liberty by liberal, Democrat party, represented by their liberal/socialist candidate for President, Barack Obama. Liberalism, according to Acton, "wishes for what ought to be, irrespective of what is"... and what is "is essentially revolutionary." Obama’s liberalism revolts against conservatism. He claims to represent hope and change. Obama hopes to perfect our culture and society, molding America to his distorted conception of humanity by using governmental imposition into every aspect of our lives. His would be the ultimate power play aimed to level the playing fields of aspiration and achievement. He would diminish America’s power in the world and at the same time avoid disapproval from any other powerful nation. Acton, as a student of history, observed that "constant and invariable forces will resist the truth and the Higher Purpose" ... "weakness, division, excess, will damage the better cause. The splendid plausibility of error, the dazzling attractiveness of sin ... by what adjustment to inferior motives good causes succeed. .... History is not a web woven with innocent hands. Among all the causes which degrade and demoralize men, power is the most constant and the most active." Barack Obama’s arrogance and his party’s quest for power should scare any sane American witless. Liberalism and its goals are essentially revolutionary because they ignore reality’s natural inequalities as well as a true democracy’s need for justice, morality and common sense. Obama’s vision of America, however, focuses on disappointment, guilt and pessimism. He continually exposes the smallness of his socialist ideas and plans. As the Messiah, Obama preaches hope and change which are merely masks hiding the imps of repression and business-as-usual in Washington. His power play, unfortunately, has seduced 25% of American citizens who would vote for hope and change.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

In Memoriam

This discursive is in memoriam of the passing of this season’s fresh corn on the cob. Fate dealt a bad hand to my garden which failed to produce any sweet corn. Also, thanks to subsidized ethanol, America now suffers from engorged waste of a yummy food staple. Maize was domesticated in Mexico and Central America from 6500 B.C. on. Commercial offerings, however, from big box stores, do not resemble my grandmother’s maize. Rather than knowing what I think proves that I am, I know I am alive when delicious, flavorful, sweet, kernels pop off a cob into my mouth. A good sweet corn is like poetry of the palate as perfect as Emily Dickinson quatrains. Emily’s poems are described by a New York writer and critic as "triple-distilled whiskey that jolt going down, then radiate, leaving us wide-eyed and slightly fuddled." As a connoisseur of corn, I can definitely relate to this analogy. A friend of Emily’s, Thomas Higginson, described her creations as "poetry torn up by the roots,"..."that takes my breath away." Would that I had roots this year gripping into the ground in my garden supporting stalks that tasseled and produced long, inviting ears of corn. No such luck. Also, since the price of producing food has risen due to the encouragement of corn for ethanol, growing corn for the table has decreased and gardeners are themselves consuming all that they harvest. Sweet corn available to the public has been dear. I can buy no self-respecting corn other than from suppliers to nearby supermarkets. Nor can I buy decent corn grown from local farm families. I have not been able to approach my record last year of purchasing and eating 6 dozen ears of home-grown Mennonite corn. After consuming two store-bought ears this summer, I abandoned all hope to further enter the bins of corn produced for the mass market. Two bi-colors looked as perfect as Hollywood stars, but their flavor was pale or non-existent. Emily once asked her friend Thomas, "Dare you see a Soul at White Heat?" One never tires of analyzing and dissecting Emily’s poems because one can always tread new ground to find mental and emotional satisfaction. Reminiscent of Emily, I dare to long for kernels of white, yellow or bi-colored ambrosia to inflame my taste buds. Maybe nature or the gods will cooperate next year?

Friday, August 15, 2008

What writer apres Clive Staples Lewis will offer a better explanation of Christianity and inspiration for belief? Christianity continues to be merely the only answer to any and all questions asked about this world and beyond. C. S. Lewis summed up his argument for God’s church merely by posing the dilemma: What Jesus said and did made him either a madman or the son of God. Take your pick. Billions of followers picked Christ as the Redeemer of mankind. What apologist or thinker will posit better explanations for Faith, Hope and Love than C.S.Lewis in his small book Mere Christianity?

Lewis wanted the world to remember him as a greatest English poet. That spot was already inhabited by William Shakespeare. Did Lewis expect that his tales of Narnia would become classics? Lewis must have known that his religious treatise would become a masterpiece of elegant, populist writing about the true religion, Christianity. Lewis, unfortunately never made the leap of Faith to convert to Catholicism which carries on the mission of Jesus on Earth.

Contrary to popular inclination, walking in the footsteps of God’s son requires first an intellectual understanding and commitment. Wrestling with the Devil for the truth is a passionate struggle in which Lewis triumphed. He knew, just as any true disciple of Jesus knows, that the mind is a terrible thing to waste. Satan’s job description is mind control and seduction a person’s free will. Today’s Christians and Catholics too often put the cart before the horse. Emotions as a component of religious fervor, do not take second place; rather Mr. Touchy and Ms. Feely play dominant roles in the practice of a religion.

Without an initial intellectual surrender, however, the thrill of mere Christianty is soon gone.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The obscene

Am I allowed to explore the meaning of obscene? I Present examples of some things filthy, offensive to decency or the senses. "Without an element of the obscene there can be no true and deep aesthetic or moral conception of life," Havelock Ellis, writer and psychologist, wrote a century ago. "It is only the great men who are truly obscene. If they had not dared to be obscene they could never have dared to be great." True enough, but what about Americans who choose to please themselves regardless of the cost? Who do not forego vacations, especially in RV’s when the price of gas remains high? Recreating does not, however, keep them from complaining about the cost of driving. What seems to me to be obscene is their sense of earned privilege, warranted hedonism, entitlement. Also offensive to my senses and the hierarchical rules of natural law are pet owners who choose to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for veterinary care. Guilty of obscene spending is a man whose personal decision led him to an expenditure of $18,000 on a 14 yr. old dog to prolong its life a year. Guilty too would be the writer who characterizes this man’s expression of dogged devotion and justified substitution for a recently deceased wife, as "eloquent." Would human beings pay as much or more for other humans who are ill or dying if they did not have medical insurance to cover the expenses? Do I sound heartless, cruel, skeptical or rational? The irrational behavior of chain smoking might be obscene, but it is not characterized as obscene by individuals who excuse and justify Barack Obama’s addiction to tobacco. Ditto for Obama’s hedonistic lifestyle and obscene self-centeredness. Havelock Ellis obviously knew that obscene hypocrisy was a requisite for greatness. Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher, also wrote that great minds would have nothing to do if they were consistent. I know obscenity when I see it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fellow travelers

The phrase ‘fellow traveler’ takes on a two-fold meaning now that Obama’s is running for President. First, it defines the result of his intentions to level the playing field even further than it already extends, i.e. more and better giveaways. A liberal mayor, Barrack supporter, brags about his federally funded bike path and his hope for further funding to widen a city highway. He represents what is wrong with hoping that fellow tax-paying Americans, not citizens of his city, fund improvements. Another example of subsidized living and socialist thinking is a single mother of 4 children who states that she is unemployed and going to school full time but could still use a windfall of cash. Her inexplicable condition will not be corrected by a call for family living or responsible employment by Obama. Instead, possibilities for her version of the pursuit of happiness in America will be expanded by further giveaways. Unlike on the road to Canterbury, where travelers were diverse individuals, citizens traveling with Obama will be forced into greater equality so as to share the burdens of life.
Second, is the meaning of Barack’s recent gaff that his wife Michele is just a "FELLOW TRAVELER." A phrase right out of Russian communism can’t be dismissed as simply mis-speak. Michele is not a regular folk; Michele replicates Barack’s socialist view of the world. 200 yrs ago, Wm. Hazlitt said that the "soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases." The journey that Obama has planned for America, if elected President, will not guarantee - or even embody - liberty. As forced, fellow travelers, Americans will find their liberties stripped away layer by layer, beginning with, for example, his campaign pledge to impose a windfall profits tax upon oil companies to pay for an incentive check of $1000 to all Americans. You can bet that wealthy Americans won’t benefit from a windfall. Of course, the socialist Devil is in the details which involve theft from Corporations in which Americans have invested their monies and handouts to those who have acted responsibly. Travelon Obama’s path to America’s future will be mandatory and Americans hoping to accumulate wealth, i.e. savings, investments or capital, will be punished.
Do we dare hope for these changes?

Monday, August 11, 2008


Nectar waiting,
Aerial dogfight,
Dive bombing,
At close quarters.
Trochilic war
On the wing.
Red Barons
Vs. Fuselages
Iridescent green.
Hum, humming,
‘We can’t all get along.’

Sunday, August 10, 2008

End of a season

I dig, dibble, cultivate, till, sow,
Plant, weed, thin, chop, hoe,
Top, rake, cut, lop, reap, mow.
I water with fate, by hand, I harrow,
Garden goodies are a die’s throw.
From agronomy, no trim abs show.
From husbandry, no suntanned glow.
From horticulture, no pounds go.
Time passes, warmth, a possible crow,
On my grateful soul, another furrow.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

An honorable rest

An asylum run by the insane is like a country run by politicians. An example is the long, tragic, historical episode of the Soviet Gulag. The late Alexander Solzhenitsyn put on paper the "many-throated groan, the dying whisper of millions," from the Soviet Gulag run by insane Communists. The writer’s words count. Also, the writer’s life was devoted to speaking out against the irrational sins of evil politicians and dictators. Now that Solzhenitsyn’s gone, his country that managed to ‘take him back,’ in 1994, rendered its courageous and dissident Caesar the homage of a hero’s funeral. I trust that God will render to Alexander, his faithful servant, a well-deserved and honorable rest.

Friday, August 08, 2008

No, you can't

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. " This sentiment did not make John Stuart Mill a warmonger; rather it clarified the definition of courage and truth. Obviously doing nothing is an alternative to fighting for what’s right; Actually choosing inaction is preferable to crusading for a wrong. To satisfy justice, however, there should be no bowing to the lukewarm or the fiery sword of an aggressor. Why did the lawyer who defended Leopold and Loeb in their murder trial of Tommy Franks at the beginning of the 20th century, quibble over the distinction between mental illness (his defense of his clients) and insanity? The killers’ actions spoke louder than any choice of words and their decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings qualified them for swift and sure punishment. Their trial became a mini-war between the prosecution and defense of right vs. wrong, justice vs. injustice, the fight to support what’s good about the gift of life vs. what’s evil and snuffs it out. World Wars, limited wars, civil wars, tribal wars, revolutions, jihads, ethnic conflicts, cleansings, plunderings, purges, rampages - all are ugly things. Mill knew that uglier still would be the impulse to say to an evil aggressor, "Yes, you can."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Moral relativism

Daily living for Oscar W. Firkins at the turn of the 20th century, involved a state of contentment within despair. Sometimes that’s how I approach each successive dawn. Why so? History has been written by the madness of crowds making merry over Messiahs. History has also been replete with analyses and diatribes against the prevailing culture. Could not the abuses of political correctness, the rise of a meritocracy and preservation of privileged elites, the displacement of majority rule by lawyers, judges, experts or ‘loud mouths,’ the retreat from true religious faith, the frenzied pursuit of vacuous pleasure, debasement of language and morals, political extremism and overall coarsening of behavior be applied to any period or age as well as today? We have our shallow Obama supported by at least 25% of the population. We also have complaints from thinkers who decry modern moral relativism. Count me in with George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh who detested moral relativism. The lukewarmness of wishy-washy principles never wins the prize for integrity. Core beliefs upheld would go a long way to re-establish or at least slow the decline of America. Each disturbing condition could be corrected by an adherence to an appropriate commandment carried down the mountain by Moses to the chosen people. Practicing the 10 commandments would do the trick now or anytime even though they require a separation of and commitment to white over black, good over evil, no mushy in between. Individual commitment to them would provide contentment within despair. Triumphing over our sins is as difficult as climbing a mountain; yet no other choice exists than to continue our descent into a pit where the atmosphere will be nothing approximating lukewarm.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Ideaological privatization"

Who would suggest is the "we" who must stop ideological privatization of critical governmental functions?" The "we" is the liberals who have made "ideological privatization" their stock and trade. This euphemistic phrase for crony capitalism or in more understandable wording, virtual nepotism, could only be used by a liberal woman with three names, Hellary Rodham Clinton. Three names are a hallmark of a liberal and/or feminist. Yes, any idea or appreciation of the world and politics held by a liberal, per se, upends reality; a heap of hypocrisy and the guarantee of a lie are usually thrown into the mix. How do I know? An historical study of liberal behavior tells me so. ‘We’ in the above quote refers to the Democrats, who would only know "ideological privatization" by their practice of it. Unfortunately, the person who stops to think an assertion through (and this also applies to Barack Obama’s protestations, gaffs and prognostications ) will agree with me. Sadly, too many citizens can’t see through the verbiage and admit that human nature calls for patronizing ideological. Both Democrats and Republicans practice patronizing political friends and avoiding enemies who, because they are enemies, could not be trusted to do unto you as they would do unto others.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Dynamic trios

Why do we need the dynamic trios of faith, discipline and pride or truth, beauty and spirituality? Either triumvirate proves that a higher power exists, that God is necessary, that the human species triumphs above the animals. Only the dynamic trios lead to the perfection rather than the corruption of mankind. Their opposites can only be evils. Yet in each period in the history of civilizations, doubt, self-indulgence and lack of self-respect have dragged down souls and the souls of societies and cultures. Doom and gloom are the leavings of a civilization without its recognition of the lie, the pleasing, the excellent and the existence of a high Power. There is a "tilt of freedom in the direction of evil," to use the words of the now ( 8/08) deceased writer and Russian Gulag survivor, Alexander Solzhenitzyn. This tilt, he says, is "evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent in human nature." Unfortunately, there does exist in each human being the potential to practice evil, especially when it is seen as the good. Furthermore, an "atmosphere of moral mediocrity" ... will paralyze "man’s noblest impulses," adds Solzhenitzyn. The old motto, "Just don’t stand there; do something," offers a solution to this problem of lukewarm living. Yet the media daily presents us with crises that loom. We fall into a state of continual fear. Why would someone then pay attention to the seer who finally spies the real wolf? There are purveyors of falsehoods like the media, liberals and dictators, practitioners of perverted faith, laziness, self-absorption, materialism, greed, indecency, vulgarity and debasement, and embracers of ugliness instead of beauty and balance, lies instead of reality and naturalness and compromise instead of courageous holiness. Good people must continue to fight the good fight for the dynamic trios.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ledger balanced?

Has Heath Ledger ironically redeemed himself from the grave? Has his playing the Joker in the Batman flick, "Dark Knight " balanced his ledger sheet of life? Voting with their pocketbooks and propagandizing by word of mouth, millions of Americans who have eyed the film see that it portrays a moral showdown. Against the terrorist villain and the scorn of the public, Batman’s presence symbolizes good fighting evil.

Analogous to fiction is the real life contest being played out on the political scene in which Barack Obama, the ‘dark knight’ has fooled too many Americans who support him in his rise to power. 72% of blacks believe that he cares for them. No way. The devil, of course, is merely up to his old trick of upending truth, justice and the American way. The voters, especially blacks and youth, who ‘see’ Obama as the white knight (even though he’s ½ black), don’t understand that their right to make choices in life and to accumulate wealth will be gradually stripped away under his policies. Instead, victimhood to the state will be encouraged and/or sustained.

The fictional Batman stands up and fights evil. Who inhabits a breathing suit of Batman? Not John McCain. Surely, George W. Bush until he leaves office in 2009. In addition to Christian Bale ( irony noted in his name highlighting the classic tradition of light vs. darkness), I suggest ...

Sunday, August 03, 2008


What accounts for America’s exceptionalism? What novel institutions and culture in our advanced civilization differ from the European model? Why have we inspired envy/disdain from our flat world neighbors? Perhaps it is our peculiar version of ‘enlightenment.’ America’s novel form of enlightenment has been freedom and equality under the rule of law which guarantees each person the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Sure we pursued our goals with fits and starts, but we have gradually corrected our mistakes and not allowed our pursuit to become derailed as has happened in many countries around the globe. Enlightenment occurred in the course of history as civilizations advanced, but America from its inception rejected the notion of ‘dharma’ which in India accounts for a caste system determined by birth which automatically limits a person’s social position and career. Europe transitioned its version of the ‘enlightenment’ during the Renaissance. China moved through its own Meiji (enlightened) period too. The Buddha himself, the ‘enlightened’ one, exemplifies the correct path to pursue in life. However, with the advent of the ‘Dark Knight,’ Barack Obama, the Democrat candidate for President of these United States, our lights could blink out. Obama preaches dismal determinism, anti-entrepreneurial socialism, white guilt and black racism aimed to divide, not unite our country. Under his aegis, change would not be for the better. His version of America contrasts starkly with the elitist life that he has lived. His enlightened vision equates with darkness and gives new meaning to the word exceptionalism. Voter beware!

Saturday, August 02, 2008


What can explain the absence of romance in modern movies for adults and an ignorance of the outdoor world in youth? Wanting, longing, waiting or dating absent themselves from both the boy/girl and the child/wildlife mix. Shallow hookups and computer possibilities fill the voids. Wealth has produced both the hedonism of vegetarianism and the ultimate hedonism of couch potatoes. Both the thrill of love and nature - gone. How long will they be forgotten?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Deliver us from evil

Winston Churchill knew how to turn a phrase. Lies were "technological inexactitudes." His political rival Ramsey McDonald was a "boneless wonder." A book he never succeeded in writing was to be titled, "Socialism, the Creed of Failure." Only a William F. Buckley Jr. would have given Winston a run for his money when vocabulary, literary expression and innovative thought were concerned. Barack Obama, however, the ‘bony wonder’ never speaks that he does not perform a disservice to truth. His lies result from ignorance and political aspiration. His proclamations of socialistic goals would lead to across-the-board domestic and foreign failures. If proof is needed, think about this. Barack - a Presidential contender mind you - says that keeping tires inflated on cars could do as much to save the environment, save on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint as drilling for more oil. And this. Barack - a self-centered hedonist mind you - chose to spend 188 minutes in one day working out at a gym. Would the future of America be ‘fail-safe’ with this man as its leader? I thought that a leader should be smarter and wiser than the average person for whom he would be working in the White House, not in the gym.