Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Admonitions From A Former Altar Boy

     I was born into the Catholic faith and completed 12 years of Catholic education. I was an altar boy in grade school, helping the priests in my parish celebrate mass on the weekends and many times early in the morning before school began. I guess like many Catholic boys I thought about becoming a priest for period of time, but rejected the idea once my hormones really began to kick in. I always thought that my faith was a beautiful expression of God's law precisely because it was not of this world. I did not always keep that faith, but I always thought it was worth keeping.
     The ways in which the Catholic church has prostituted itself to modernity has sickened me over the last few decades. From the enabling and encouraging of gambling amongst their flock, to support by their priests and nuns of Democrats who support abortion, the church which Jesus built upon his Apostle Peter, the "Rock," has lately had a foundation of ever shifting sand. And the worst part is that instead of a Holy Father that is the Vicar of Christ, we have in Pope Francis an unholy alliance with the sins of the world for the sake of progressiveness.
     Pope Francis's recent welcoming of gays and of his blessing of co-habitation by unmarried couples is evidence of a Church that has lost its way in the darkness that is the human heart. The Church was not meant by Christ to be progressive, it did not need to progress, it was already at its destination from the moment Jesus bestowed upon Peter the task of shouldering His Church here on earth. Being His Church meant that its tenets were those of God in heaven, not of man on earth.
     The Catholic Church, through Pope Francis, is becoming transformed from the Church of Christ into the Church of Leftism. The Leftist faith has infected the Vatican with the destructive tenets of "social justice," homosexual tolerance, anti-capitalism, and extreme environmentalism. Instead of living by the credo that Christ left his followers of "If the world hates you, remember it hated me first," the current Church under the leadership of Pope Francis seems to be one of placating a sinful world.
     To Pope Francis, who has changed the mission of the church from being God's rock here on earth, to an ever malleable mudslide of moderation. And to all the Cardinals and Bishops who have allowed themselves and the Church to become one with the world. And to all the priests and nuns who have violated their sacred trust with God by supporting those who do not respect the sanctity of life. And finally to all those Catholics who have turned away from the word of God in favor of the words of fools and charlatans who practice the false faith of Leftism. Your Church is dying the death that all things of the world die.
     As for me, I continue to wander through this world witnessing the death of faith, and it only makes my faith stronger. I continue to see the false prophets in and out of the Church leading their flocks to the barren meadows of sin, and I am steeled in my determination to search for God's meadow of righteousness. I see the Church I once respected for their dedication to God's law becoming disciples of the whims of man, and I am saddened. But there is hope for all those who seek that Rock, and who eagerly hunger for the Word. But you must first abandon the sinking ship of your faith and find a new faith as you cling to the life preserver of your personal relationship with God.

Monday, October 20, 2014

There Are No Conservatives In Crisis, Or So It Seems

     There is an old saying that states, "There are no atheists in foxholes." That is to say everyone, when faced with the possibility of death, has a desire to be saved by a force greater than themselves. I have been thinking much about this saying lately in the clamor and pall that has beset our country as Obama administration scandals and a flaccid economy have been subjugated to the threat of Ebola. My intent here is not to add anymore to the cacophony of information, misinformation, disinformation, or speculation about the virus itself, only what it apparently has done to our country in a non-medical sense.
     If one were to replace atheists from the aforementioned saying with conservatives and foxholes with crisis, it would encapsulate the concern I have beyond the spread of a virus that attacks the human body, to a virus that attacks Liberty itself. I have been absolutely appalled and sickened by the response of Republicans, which I might expect to engage in such behavior, and conservatives, which I would not expect to engage in such behavior, engaging in behavior that is more illustrative of those on the Left.
     What is the behavior I am talking about? It is the weakness of the victim looking for a government cure to what ails us. A case in point is the almost constant clamoring by many on the Right for the Obama administration to implement travel bans on flights making their way from West Africa to the United States. Whether the administration should or should not is not important to my thesis.
     I have not heard any airline, any customers of airlines, or anyone in congress suggesting the airlines self-ban. Why must we sit, helpless to ban flights from Ebola infested countries, waiting for the government to act? Can not the airlines stop arrivals and departures from those countries themselves? And can not the citizens, instead of demanding action from an incompetent and tone deaf administration, demand action from the airlines? And are Republicans in congress not able to call on the airlines in this time of national emergency to stop flights that may bring more Ebola-infected persons into the United states?
     I have been more than a little disheartened lately with conservatives, who claim the belief in small government, but recently have been demanding bigger government to deal with what may or may not be a crisis. I mentioned in a previous post congressman Tim Murphy telling the CDC that what ever additional funds and authority they need to deal with the crisis, congress stands ready to give them. Screaming for a government flight ban is another example. Additionally, the focus on the new Ebola Czar having no medical experience rather than making the case that the position should not even exist, is another acceptance of big government by those on the Right.
     The appearance of what may be a crisis should not in any way enervate conservatism, and its core value of smaller government. It is myopic for conservatives to desire a big government solution to the Ebola problem, and then foolishly think that that expanded federal authority will disappear when the crisis has passed. Ronald Reagan once stated that "the closest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program." And not even the absence of Ebola will eliminate the bureaucracy created to fight it.
    

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Republicans Set To Give Obama Unlimited Power In Wake Of Ebola

     On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to show the American people that they have no clue what to do about the spread of the Ebola virus, held hearings. After the hearing Republican Congressman Tim Murphy told the director of the Center for Disease Control that congress stands ready to give his bureaucracy all the money and authority he needs to battle the Ebola virus. Of course the CDC is part of the executive branch, so whatever is given them by congress is actually given to President Obama.
     There are other Republicans like Rand Paul who said that Ebola is easier to contract than the AIDS virus, further ginning up the hysteria and making it more likely that the CDC and Obama administration will gladly take up Congressman Murphy's generous offer. Senator Paul irresponsibly said that one can contract the Ebola virus at a cocktail party. I am not sure what kind of cocktail parties Mr. Paul attends, but I assume they are the kind where guests go around depositing Ebola infested loggies into each other's drinks. For the rest of us I think we are fairly safe.
     I have been a conservative most of my adult life, and have tried to be fair minded about giving those on my side of the aisle the scrutiny that I give those on the other side. With that spirit in mind I have to question the motivations, more specifically the political motivations, of those I respect in talk radio and elsewhere on the Right, spreading hysteria over the outbreak of Ebola in the United States. I challenge my side by asking if their response would be the same if there were a Republican administration in control and everything else remained static. I have to say in the cleansing light of intellectual honesty that I do not think it would be so.
     Do not mistake my supposition as letting Obama or anyone in his bumbling basket of buffoons off the hook for their very visible incompetence in the handling of this issue. It pains my heart to think that my friends on the Right have taken to politicizing something like Ebola to push an agenda, an agenda that does not need to be surrounded by political gimmickry. The Left must do such things because their ideas and policies do not withstand the winds of truth and reality. But I have always felt that conservative ideas did not need cheap political theatrics to recommend them.
     In the spirit of self-examination, because as Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living," those on the Right spreading panic over Ebola for political gain must then take partial responsibility for the increased government control that results from it. In my opinion those in congress like Mr. Murphy and Mr. Paul, as well as those in talk radio, have played into President Obama's hands.
     Barack Obama, being a votarient of Saul Alinsky, advances his agenda by creating and using crisis to "do things you think you could not do before," as his first Chief of Staff, Rohm Emanuel phrased it when speaking to a group of donors just after the 2008 election. I am sorry to say that many on the Right have become part and parcel to the crisis mentality needed by the president to further "Fundamentality transform America" and sublimate the individual Liberty of the American people.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Obama The Magic Negro" Strikes Again

     When Los Angeles Times columnist David Ehrenstein, a black journalist and political pundit, published an article in the aforementioned newspaper entitled "Obama The Magic Negro" in March of 2007, he had no idea how right he was. Even though Mr. Ehrenstein's reasoning was faulty, his conclusion was right on-the-money. His theory was that Barack Obama was magical because he appeared out of no where to assuage white guilt by allowing them to vote for, in the words of Joe Biden, "a clean articulate black man." But the real magic of Mr. Obama is not in the result of his presence on whites, as Mr. Ehrenstein suggested, but in how he performs this and other "magical" tricks.  
     A case in point is his slight-of-hand in distracting Americans from the alacrity with which constitutional rights are being eroded, with the hysteria over Ebola. While the crazies are preparing to make war against an "out of control" government to resist being sent to "FEMA camps," which we all know is the reason that Barack Obama deliberately spread the Ebola virus in the U.S. (I say with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek) the Mayor of Houston is assaulting the Constitution with vim and vigor unmatched in the modern era.
     Mayor Annise Parker, an openly lesbian woman, recently demanded that the pastors of Houston's churches hand over their sermons containing any references to gays. It stemmed from a new city ordinance that forces public restrooms to accommodate transgender and wannabe transgenders, which the pastors have refused to abide. The Mayor, and her supporters, are claiming that since the churches have tax exempt status they are restricted from engaging in political activity. Gee, I wonder why this law does not apply to Leftist groups like the NAACP.
     The Houston case is demonstrative of the Left trying to re-categorize issues of faith as political issues so that they can control free speech and the free exercise of religious faith. It is also illustrative of the brilliance with which Barack Obama has distracted the nation with his left hand of crisis and scandal, while he quietly rips away God-given rights protected by the Constitution with his right hand. The real fear of the Ebola "crisis" is not the numbers of persons that will ultimately be infected, or the institution of martial law and FEMA camps being turned into "death camps," but it is the fundamental changes to our system of government that will be implemented in "fighting" the crisis.
     After all, Barack Obama from the beginning said he wanted to "fundamentally transform America." That transformation comes at the expense of freedom, Liberty, and the very founding of this country. But almost as importantly, that transformation is being achieved by distraction and the slight of hand masking the political magic of Barack Obama.
    

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Most Inconsequential Election Of Our Lives

     For about the last ten years or so we have heard that the next election is "the most important" of our lives. The last two presidential contests have certainly fallen into this category, and I can not say that I disagree, to a certain extent. But next month's mid-term elections are shaping up to be the most inconsequential of our lifetimes. No offense to those on the Right and the Left who wish to energize their respective bases to motivate them to vote, but what happens next month is not really going to change America for the better or the worse.
     The Republicans have said that they "must" gain control of the United States Senate in order to "save" the country. But even they have admitted that the Harry Reid lead Senate is the least productive in history. So are we to believe that the Republican establishment is going to save us from a body that basically is doing nothing? About the only activity in the Senate these days is the storage of the 350 bills that have been sent over from the House of Representatives that Mr. Reid refuses to allow to the floor of the Senate for debate.
     Some on the Right have suggested that it is imperative for Republicans to win the majority in the Senate in order to moderate the president's Supreme Court nominees, if there be any in the next two years. I am not sure where these folks have been the last six years, but there is nothing moderate about Barack Obama, especially not his nominees to any position in government. Any Supreme Court nominee from President Obama will most probably be black, Hispanic, or female, and most definitely will be radically Left. Even under the most generous predictions Republicans will have control of the Senate by 2 or 3 seats. Democrats will always be able to peel away the 3 or 4 Republican votes needed to confirm any nominee the president proffers.
     Let us just speculate that the Republicans gain control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House. Any bill that is passed by both Houses of congress and lands on President Obama's desk to be signed into law, will not receive his signature if it does not comport to his agenda. Therefore, there will be no net gain for the American people if the Republicans wrestle control of the Senate away from the Democrats. Either the same "do nothing" Democrat-controlled Senate will remain or a "do something" Republican-controlled Senate will essentially be neutered by a veto-happy president.
     Finally, let me address the issue of impeachment. Some slap-happy Republicans actually are holding their collective breaths thinking that if they gain control of the Senate, impeachment of Barack Obama will be a foregone conclusion. In order for that to happen the Republicans would need a gain of 21 seats, and then all vote in lock step to impeach. Furthermore, even if this little miracle happened, there is no way Chief Justice Roberts would allow the impeachment of the first black president. We have already seen how he took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to make sure the president's health care law remained law even though it was a blatant violation of the Constitution.
     On November 4 I will be dutifully casting my vote and yawning the whole time. I do not expect anything to change until there is a new executive. The control of congress only matters with a president that respects the constitutional form of government that the Founders created, which Barack Obama does not. He has a pen and a phone, and unfortunately his pen and phone are not on the ballot.
    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Indigenous People's Day?

     Yesterday, as the sensible and historically accurate minded celebrated Columbus Day, some of the politically correct and historically delusional made up their own holiday called "Indigenous People's Day." Beyond the fact that these misguided souls have completely missed the importance of the North American continent's first discovery by the civilized world, is the provocative nature of wanting to celebrate their day on the same day as some else's holiday. The thought would never occur to them to celebrate their holiday on a different day, because their effort is not so much about celebrating indigenous people, as it is about besmirching the peoples who brought the progress of civilization to an untamed continent.
     The American Indian (or Native Americans if you prefer) is said to have inhabited the North American continent for 14,000 years. Before that point it is anyone's guess where they originated, although some recent studies in anthropology have suggested they came from the Asian continent during a period when there was a land bridge connecting the two geographies. One thing is clear, they did not exist on the North American continent prior to 14,000 years ago. So I guess indigenous all depends on one's definition of that word.
     The supporters of "Indigenous People's Day" claim to want to give them credit for their contribution to mankind. Okay, fair enough. Can anyone outline for me what those contributions are? I can list chapter and verse the overwhelming contributions of the United States of America. I can even articulate contributions made by the Italians, the French, certainly the Germans and Spainards, and just about every other culture on earth all the way back to the Romans and Egyptians. But what is the great contribution to the human condition made by Native Americans?
    In fact, when Europeans first stepped foot on the North American continent, the "indigenous people" they found had not progressed as a society for the 14,000 years they had resided here. A thousand years ago when the peoples of Europe were building magnificent cathedrals that spired hundreds of feet into the air, Native Americans were still living in animal skin tepees. And when the Vikings and Saxons were creating intricate and detailed art and jewelry from gold, silver, iron, and bronze, the Native Americans were stringing dried berries on animal guts and hemp. And when the Romans were manufacturing high tech swords and shields, the Native Americans were affixing sharp rocks to the ends of spears as weapons.
     To the casual reader it may sound like I am unfairly criticizing the Native American culture. But it is not my intent. I am a realist, and as such I am willing to change my opinion if anyone can articulate contributions by Native Americans to science, medicine, technology, or any other field of human endeavor. I know it is popular in today's politically correct world to ignore truths that are uncomfortable to admit, especially when those truths are about a favored victim class. But if we are to accept "Indigenous People's Day" on a wholesale basis in this country, there must be some compelling reason to do so. And beating the Europeans to the North American continent by 14,000 years is just not a good enough reason.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Ebola Factor

     I have tried in recent years to limit my beliefs, reactions, and analysis to logic, reason, and facts. I have not always succeeded, but I feel if one lets his emotions and fears dictate his actions and decisions in life he will forever be subject to the tyranny of ignorance. This theory has been on full display in our country as it relates to the current Ebola scare. And with two cases out of a nation of 300 million, some are calling it an epidemic, further proving the need for my disposition outlined above.
     Some have suggested that the spread of Ebola is just a matter of exponential math, e.g. one case turns into two, two turns into four, four turns into eight, etc., ad infinitum until some significant portion of the population is infected and dies. But viruses do not follow the rules of mathematics and their courses are determined by thousands of variables. Besides, many of those advancing the "it is just about numbers, and numbers do not lie" theory, are the same people saying President Obama should take aggressive action against the virus. Well, if it is just a matter of numbers, and the outcome of the virus is based on invariable math, then it does not matter what anyone does.
     It is the illogic of the "numbers people" that I have tried to avoid in situations like the one in which we currently find ourselves. The other group of individuals that seem to have abandon any desire for perspicacity are the Hysteria addicts. These are people who have some sick and twisted belief in end-of-the-world scenarios and will pounce on anything they think will advance that notion. So they are the first ones to jump on global cooling, global warming, AIDS, bird flu, Avian flu, swine flu, Hong Kong flu, Obama's re-election, over-population, deforestation, Ecoli, mad cow, Ebola, or anything else that they can convince others is going to kill mass numbers of human beings on the planet.
     When it comes to hysteria, I tend to hold fast to an attitude I heard advanced by conservative author, commentator, and radio talk show host, Dennis Prager. Mr. Prager said if he was on an airplane that was crashing, and death was imminent, his death would not bother him as much as the hysteria of others on the plane. Hysteria is not going to right the plane, or increase one's chances for survival one iota. It only makes the last minutes on earth more horrifying than they would otherwise be.
     Mr. Prager's reasonable response to the inevitable is even more relevant to situations like Ebola where the outcome is not so inevitable. It shocks the conscience how many Americans are ready to declare, "the end is near" with so little provocation. As for me, I will continue to live my life like Dennis on that plane. I will choose calm over calamity, reason over rashness, and prayer over pandemonium. Because in the end, the best tool we have to deal with anything in life is sanity, something that seems to be in short supply in the Ebola madness that has gripped our nation.