Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Disheartened?" Or "Angry?"

Peggy Noonan is given a prominent place in the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages, because she always seems to have something important to say. In yesterday's column she wonders how this administration could be so "callous" that they don't even seem to care that so many people have become "disheartened." Rush Limbaugh corrected Peggy: "We are not disheartened; we are angry!"

Noonan further seems incredulous that the administration doesn't even seem "worried about the impact of what they're doing." I've got news for you, Peggy: looking at results or consequences of their programs is never part of the liberals' agenda!

To deal with callous people in power, we need the leadership of equally aggressive, equally determined people. People like Rush Limbaugh. People like Peggy Noonan can write about it from a distance, safely ensconced in their libraries.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"The greater the pretentions to righteousness, the greater the potential for evil"

If Barack Obama is the savior, then salvation can be found only in becoming a follower of Obama and his government allies. Herbert Schlossberg explains in Idols for Destruction that the state becomes an idol in the hands of the "theologians of political redemption." As much as we might prefer to live in a free society, we must now learn to accept a social order in which some people force their conception of the "good life" on the rest of us. This coercion is necessary for the achievement of "progress." Try as you might to hold on to your freedom, you must come to realize that we have many "crises" from which we need to be saved. Schlossberg writes that "it was once considered immoral to take a person's property for the benefit of others by threatening the use of force, but now inequality is advanced as a greater evil than theft." State confiscation is advanced to the "pinnacle of moral rectitude."

Although Obama seems to be in large part a pragmatist, he, Reid, and Pelosi do seem convinced that what they are trying to do in nationalizing health care will be good for us, thus strengthening their determination. Schlossberg reminds us that "Jesus told His followers that their persecutors would think they were serving God (John 16:2). Solzhenitsyn tells of Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to the labor camp where he was incarcerated. Schlossberg notes that "she reported that it was a humane institution for curing criminals."

What is the affinity evil has with professions of good? C.S. Lewis, in an essay he called "Lillies that Fester," argued that the more pretentious the visions of rulers, the more defiling the rule is likely to be. If there were ever a ruler more pretentious than Obama, I cannot think who it might be.

Schlossberg writes,
"The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. "Our whole lives are their business," (C.S. Lewis, in God in the Dock). The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction."

Obama's Director of Communications, Anita Dunn, gave a speech to high school graduates in which she extolled Chairman Mao for his determination and perseverance. Mao, like Obama, was expected to save his people from all problems. A common proverb was, "We must study the works of Chairman Mao each day. If we miss only one day the problems pile up. If we miss two days we fall back. If we miss three days, we can no longer live."

How about the way Obama is ubiquitous as our Big Brother or our Father, Mr. Cool, while Rahm Emanuel's obscenities propel the engine driving the bus and pulling the strings. To these builders of utopia, everything is possible, and they feel free to attack anyone who raises questions (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck). Schlossberg warns us that "the greater the pretentions to righteousness, it seems, the greater the potential for evil."

The Christian perspective versus the humanitarian perspective

Does toleration have limits? Are weakness, impotence, and dependence signs of moral superiority? Are all cultures equal in value? Are Christian values superior to any others? Should we discriminate against our most productive citizens? Who are they? Is the exercise of power the real aim of humanitarians who use the state to promulgate their policies? If an older adult is suffering from poor health, should we "ration" his health care, increase his suffering, and perhaps let him die? Is all human life sacred, including unborn babies, disabled people and old people?

The above questions were just some I had while continuing to read Herbert Schlossberg's Idols for Destruction. Schlossberg writes that the two men who received the Nobel prize for discovering the DNA molecule, James Watson and Francis Crick, expressed "humanitarian" ideas about human life. Watson suggested that we change the legal definition of a "person" to be applicable only to infants older than three days. Crick called for a new ethical system, featuring abortion and infanticide, which would make it mandatory for all persons older than eighty years of age to be put to death!

Schlossberg points out that "the humanitarian ethic wishes to restrict the right to live and expand the right to die - and to kill." On the other hand, the Christian view is that "death is the enemy, the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Cor 15;56). In the Christian perspective the only comfort in death comes from the assurance of resurrection."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why do they need health insurance?

What group of Americans receives more hospital care than any other group? Those living below the poverty line! When the poor get sick, they go to the hospital and use the emergency room. All hospitals in America are required by the federal government to post a sign (in English and Spanish) prominently that informs people that they cannot be refused service because they are unable to pay. So, why do they need health insurance?

Thought for today

The longer you hold on to some perceived injury, the longer you allow the person who injured you to control you! Let it go! Don't wallow in victimhood!

Don't let Democrats or other statists convince you that you are somebody's victim. All they are interested in is power and control over you. Do what you have to do to get out of victimhood status. Believe in yourself. Take advantage of the opportunities this country makes possible, while they are still available. Thank God for the gifts He has given you, and seek the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"At the first sign of a cold or the flu..."

I stopped to talk with an 87-year-old woman who was purchasing several containers of hydrogen peroxide. I asked her if she was a terrorist (terror suspect Zazi was found to have purchased large quantities of hydrogen peroxide from beauty supply stores). The woman told me that she was not a terrorist, but she "wouldn't mind knowing how to make a bomb!" I recognized then that she had a wonderful sense of humor, and I asked her some more questions about herself. She told me that she buys "tons of hydrogen peroxide," because it keeps her from getting colds or the flu. At the first sign of a cold or flu, she puts "five drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear." She never gets colds or the flu, she says. Of course, her hearing isn't too good.

Christian love versus altruism and resentiment

A friend at work gave me a book to read, Idols for Destruction by Herbert Schlossberg. Schlossberg's idea for the book seems to come from the Biblical story in Hosea 8:4, "...they made idols for their own destruction." In his chapter on Idols of Humanity, Schlossberg quotes from a book entitled Resentiment by Max Scheler. Resentiment "begins with perceived injury that may have a basis in fact, but more often is occasioned by envy for the possessions or the qualities possessed by another person." Schlossberg writes that altruism "has its source in this poisonous brew." Altruism "permits demeaning the successful, or those who display any form of superiority, by pulling over that act the mask of concern for the poor and weak."

I am afraid this describes the work of my friend Saul Alinsky. I came to realize that Christian love is something very different than the hatred of the people in power espoused by the Alinsky method of organizing. As Schlossberg writes, Christian love "avoids helping the weak as a means of causing harm to the strong." Christian love asks what needs to happen to enable the weak to become strong. The answer usually lies in what opportunities can be made available to that person. What that person does with the opportunities is up to that person.
Rosie, surrounded by poodles and a Burnese Mountain dog, stays close to the grain buckets. We get spent grain from a Colorado brewery. Rosie is more than a little fond of it.
The egg ladies are wondering what happened to the sunshine.
We're looking forward to Thanksgiving this year!
Spot likes to stand near the turkeys and ducks.
It is a dark and gloomy morning today, as we are expecting up to two feet of snow beginning at midnight tonight. Yesterday I was stopped at a light behind this tea party guy. I honked and waved, and he waved back.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Restore your faith and hope

Do your sinuses need clearing out, like mine? Read Woody Paige's column in today's Denver Post. It is about how a previously immature, but sensationally gifted, athlete has befriended a 12-year-old girl who has a rare disease called dysautonomia.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Comparing and contrasting two types of parents

Colorado again was in the world's spotlight last week when a six-year-old boy was believed to be aloft over the high plains in his father's flying saucer-shaped helium balloon. I highly recommend a column in today's Denver Post entitled A better image of parenthood by Tina Griego. In her column Ms. Griego compares and contrasts the efforts of the sheriff's investigator who was first to arrive on the scene after the balloon's landing with the actions of the boy's father in using his boy as a prop to achieve his own goal of starring in a reality t.v. show. Just go the Denver Post on-line to read her column.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Are you ready for some pictures?

Today was just a wonderful day. It was the first Sunday in over one year that I did not have to work. We headed for the mountains. The teenagers skied. The rest of us headed over the continental divide to look for beaver ponds and other lesser forms of civilization. On the way I could not resist poking the camera out the window to capture some world class scenery. I had not been up in the mountains for many, many months, and it was pure joy to drink in God's majestic creations once again.

After we climb for about fifteen minutes, this magnificent view of the mountains appears on I-70.
Sara knows masks and Halloween go together, but I think we can do better than a ski mask.
We drop the teenagers off at the Loveland Ski Area.
If you have a good imagination, you don't really need skis to enjoy the slopes!
Just over the Continental Divide from the Loveland Ski Area is the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
The view at the top of the Continental Divide
My athlete, farmer, beauty queen wife carries Sara around the muddy meadow leading up to the beaver ponds, because Sara was not feeling up to par.
Didn't see any beavers, but we are going to bring fishing tackle next time, because Jon spotted some big trout!
The view from the beaver ponds:
As the sun began to set over Lake Dillon, we remembered we had two very tired teenagers we needed to pick up at the ski area!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saving money at what cost?

Denver Post writer Kirk Mitchell has an above-the-fold front page story today that reads like something one might see in my favorite newspaper, The Onion. Colorado's Democrat Governor Bill Ritter has decided to release prisoners early in order to save money it would cost to keep them in prison until their sentences are fulfilled. Additionally, in order to make room for the new parolees, 2,600 people currently being supervised will no longer be supervised!

The first ten prisoners have been released. These are the cream of the crop. According to Mitchell, Jose Madrigal "had trouble following rules in prison." In fact, seven of the ten had previously violated parole conditions, and six of the ten had tried to escape! Mr. Madrigal is only 27, but he had nine prior arests, including rioting in prison, car theft, drug dealing, and vehicular assault. Benny Joe Rael had 16 prior arrests for charges including sexual assault, child molestation, drunken driving, and cocaine distribution. Rick Martinez had 46 prior arrests for charges including assault, escape, hit and run, and burglary. John Cox had 29 prior arrests for charges including theft, fraud, escape, drunken driving, assault, and drug dealing. Betty Jean Kelly had 12 pror arrests for charges including larceny, property damages, theft, and forgery. Jestin Leeks had nine prior arrests for charges including robbery, trespassing, vehicle theft and larceny. Louis Powers had 27 prior arrrests for charges including vehicular assault, drug dealing, and car theft. Cynthia Lucero had 20 prior arrests for charges including drunken driving, fraud, cocaine dealing, and domestic violence. Erin Dunlap had 22 prior arrests for charges including trespassing, burglary, cocaine possession, theft and escape.

In a classic understatement worthy of an Onion quote, Attorney General John Suthers said, "I have to assume the first ten released were deemed to be among the lowest risk of the possible releases. Frankly, this doesn't portend well for public safety as large numbers of such offenders are released early in the coming years."

Over 8000 additional prisoners are expected to be released over the next two years back into Colorado communities. If you were thinking of moving to Colorado, you might want to wait a few years.

I wonder how much money it will cost to rearrest these individuals, retry them, resentence them, and reimprison them in the coming years.