Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Forgotten Season

Cornucopia - Steve Mordue
Fifty or sixty years ago--not even a lifetime--there was an additional holiday season during the fall. After Halloween, there would be a full month before Christmas carols trilled on the airwaves, stores decorated evergreen trees--and gift advertisements began to run incessantly. During those autumns of yesteryear, the entire month of November was devoted to the celebration of that truly American holiday, Thanksgiving.

Indian Corn Door Hanging
In art class, I remember drawing turkeys on construction paper and fashioning pilgrim hats to bring home. Department store counter-tops were decorated with autumn leaves in their glorious riot of color. Around the neighborhood, cornucopias spilled their bounty from the center of dining room table tops, and the earth tones of Indian corn wreaths graced front doorways. When I was in elementary school, we had foil window decorations--autumn leaves, a big tom turkey, a pilgrim's hat--that my mother unpacked from the closet each year on November 1. We would tape them up in our living room window, where they stayed all month. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day used to be a season of anticipation, looking forward to delicious food and warm fellowship. Once upon a time, Christmas could wait until the week after the big fall feast.

Somewhere along the decades, Thanksgiving got shoved aside by the over-commercialization of Christmas. I associate the decline of Thanksgiving with the growing secularism of our culture. There is no longer any sense of the rightness of pausing to offer gratitude to God, as the pilgrims once did and as generations of Americans following them did until recent decades. As for the meaning of waiting for Christmas as the celebration of the Lord's birth, again there is no reason to wait. As ironic as it may be, in our modern society God's connection to Christmas hangs on by the barest of threads. Especially in this century, you can listen to Christmas music streaming all day long and you'll never hear a traditional carol or a single whisper of "the reason for the season."

So we plunge from witches, ghosts, and carved pumpkins directly into trimming Christmas trees and shopping the sales without stopping to savor the beauty and grace of the Thanksgiving season. It is our loss that we have largely forgotten this special holiday that acknowledges the bounty of our land and the beauty of our families and friends. We still eat our turkey and stuffing, but rather than being its own meaningful event, Thanksgiving dinner now seems to be a pit-stop on the way to the mall.

Today I'd give a lot to see a few autumn leaves taped onto a living room window somewhere in my neighborhood.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Day of Honor

Veterans Day ~ 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

What Wins As We Lose

Below is a small snippet, but Mark Steyn's sharp analysis of what is so seriously wrong in our culture is chillingly accurate. I highly recommend a full, close reading of Steyn's entire article, The Triumph of Amoral Will.
"A republic requires virtue, and the decline of virtue is accompanied necessarily by the decline of the concept of evil, and its substitution by exculpatory analysis of the "motives" of evil. A more useful conversation would be on what it takes to remove the most basic societal inhibition - including the instinctive revulsion that would prevent most of us from taking the lives of strangers, including in this case eighteen-month-old babies...Texas officials now believe they have their "motive" - in their words, "a domestic situation going on in this family"; in my words, "the black void at the heart of the act". It is a grim phenomenon, its accelerating proliferation is deeply disturbing, and it is not unconnected to the broader societal weakness in which Islam senses its opportunity."
~ Mark Steyn, The Triumph of Amoral Will

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

A Better Day for Houston

The Houston Astros won Game 7 of the World Series tonight, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers. No matter what the weather is like tomorrow, it will be a sunny day in the city of Houston.

George Springer celebrated with teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning. 
Credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Education Breakdown

DNC Chairman Tom Perez expounds on the Electoral College:

"The Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution," Perez said during a lecture at Indiana University Law School. "It doesn’t have to be there."
Unfortunately for Mr. Perez, the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, begs to differ--and in painstaking detail:
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President."
The electoral process is further clarified in  AMENDMENT XII

It seems Tom Perez was taking a nap when this topic was covered in high school--if indeed it was ever covered during his school years. Education in basic civics is sadly lacking in our current day. But although the progressives yearn mightily that they could wish the reality away, President Donald J. Trump was duly elected according to our lawful constitutional process. In short, liberals--you lost! Deal with it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fighting through the Ashes

Firefighers in Napa, California - Oct. 2017
There are so many heartbreaking stories resulting from the Northern California wildfires this month. One of them is the more than 40 firefighters who lost their own homes to the ravaging flames but stayed on the job, working to save their neighbors' lives and property.

Go Fund a Hero seeks to aid these dedicated public servants. Of so many worthy causes borne of these devastating fires, this certainly is one worth looking into. A sincere thank you to California's brave firefighters and all first responders. Prayers for your safety as California's fire season continues.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Forensics on a National Fall

Peggy Noonan's column, "The Culture of Death--and of Disdain" is worthy of being etched in stone. The complex reasons underlying the USA's descent into violence are starkly identified and presented with chilling, articulate accuracy.

Every American should read it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Las Vegas and Loss

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds - Psalm 147:3

There isn't much I can add to what's been said and written about Las Vegas. I've heard so much commentary and read so many words by so many writers over the past two days. There are certain ones that stand out amongst the others, for various good reasons in a time of dark madness.

Mark Steyn's "The Empty Paddock" notes how media focus on the Las Vegas massacre has drawn the world's attention away from multiple terrorist attacks across the world--even the horrific murders that have occurred in the past few days.

There is a thoughtful analysis of what I call "closed ear syndrome" from David Harsanyi in the article "When You Politicize Shootings You Make It Harder To Find Solutions."

And I found some interesting perspectives from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who is uniquely qualified to address the subject, presented in Cristiano Lima's piece, "Scalise warns against 'political agenda' in Las Vegas shooting response." Most noteworthy is Scalise's emphasis on prayer as a worthy weapon against evil.

We seem to have lost that spiritual mooring as a society. I can't help but wonder if that might be the reason why we as a country are in so much trouble today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Downside of Diversity

In "Diversity Can Spell Trouble," Victor Davis Hanson writes a thoughtful piece on the often-negative consequences of diversity in a society. Hanson is such a well-educated scholar and historian of ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome that it's really tough to argue with his points--although people often do. In fact, VDH's website has an "Angry Reader" feature in which he publishes criticisms he has received, along with his responses.

Whenever I read articles by such learned and astute writers as Mark Steyn or Victor Davis Hanson, I'm reminded of how sorely lacking our public education system is today. It's one of the drawbacks of diversity, the disintegration of our national unity in exchange for the dominance of various ethnic or social groups.

Hanson expresses that thought eloquently, as follows:
"A diverse America requires constant reminders of e pluribus unum and the need for assimilation and integration. The idea of Americanism is an undeniably brutal bargain in which we all give up primary allegiance to our tribes in order to become fellow Americans redefined by shared ideas rather than mere appearance."
 Good luck with that in today's fractured America. How sad for us--every last diverse one of us.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"The Dog Ate My Homework" and Other Excuses

Hillary Clinton has a new book out. With the unintentionally comical title What Happened, Clinton expects a reader to sit back and drill through 512 pages of finger-pointing fury.

Sorry, Hill. Not this bookworm.

The list of reasons why Clinton thinks she lost the 2016 presidential election is breathtakingly long and exhaustive. It was because of Vladimir Putin, James Comey, President Obama. It was because of Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Steve Bannon. It was because of racism, sexism, misogyny, bad polling, suburban women. It was because of the Democratic National Committee, the Electoral College and Citizens United. Even Facebook and Netflix are called in for some accountability. Perhaps the most amusing target of Clinton's wrath is the media--not just the "right wing media," but "the mainstream media." Seriously!

By far the most insulting, belittling and condescending excuse Clinton presents is that white women were somehow mind-controlled by the men in their lives to vote for Donald Trump:
“Women will have no empathy for you because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I’m talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers, and husbands, and boyfriends and male employers, not to vote for ‘the girl,'” 
In your dreams, Loser. I'm a white woman who has been voting for president since I was in college. There is not a man in my life who ever once tried to sway my vote. Of course, all of the men in my life knew better than to make even a feeble attempt to do so. My vote is mine. And all those women who voted for Donald Trump? Their vote was theirs, too. No one walks into the voting booth with us. And women are not stupid, despite your obnoxious insinuation.

So since you're having such an existential struggle with the lamentable obtuseness of the American woman, Madam Secretary/Senator/First Lady, let me explain to you "What Happened." Americans--male and female--didn't want you to become president. People didn't trust you, didn't like you, didn't want you leading the country. You're a liar, a fake, and a criminal--a bad combination to overlook simply because it's "your turn" to be president. The country is tired of listening to your voice and couldn't tolerate the thought of another four years hearing it. So I guess you'll have to settle for 512 pages of blame and bitterness.

Neither blame nor bitterness are leadership qualities. If you read between the lines, oh superior one, you'll see plainly that's What Happened.