Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Power of God

An article on AOL this morning posed an interesting question. It asked whether the super-storm Sandy was a punishment from God. The direct and most likely answer is, probably not. It just happened.

But that doesn't mean that it absolutely was not God's will. He may have been issuing a punishment, or a warning of some sort. The best we can accurately say is, maybe so and maybe no. It's simply more than we can ever know, at least while we still walk the Earth.

It's far too easy to say and think that God wouldn't do that, yet we must be very careful about presuming His will in either a positive or negative direction. We put ourselves at great peril to assume that He would never never do anything destructive if He thought that humanity needed the lesson. The Old Testament is replete with stories of Divine wrath, and even Christ Himself cursed the fig tree which afforded Him no fruit.

It's all too easy to believe that an almighty yet loving God will do good things for us while never calling out nature for His own purposes. To be sure, Christ Himself also pointed out that the people who died when a tower fell on them weren't necessarily greater sinners than anyone who still lived after the incident. So it's all whatever God wills it, and that's that.

We must remember too that nature, like man, is imperfect. If nature were perfect, no storms would form, and we only get exactly what we needed of Her at a given time. So the storm may have been nothing more than a reflection of nature's, well, nature. Part of the point here is to remind Christians that bad things are not automatically or inherently, except indirectly, of course, the Will of God. Yet it also to remind Christians as well as the world at large that we need to pay attention to these seemingly natural events in that they may indeed be meant to tell us something. The bottom line is that it isn't very outlandish to think of Sandy and the harm she caused as a chance at introspection, to consider how fragile our lives are and how they may be changed by the events around us over which we have no control.

Perhaps that is the lesson in a nutshell. As such, it is all the easier to believe that the Hand of God is behind it just the same.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vote No on 6, But Only Out of Necessity

There are, as most voters in Michigan realize, several different statewide ballot proposals to consider in the coming election. Most of them do not merit serious thought, as they seek to clog up the Michigan Constitution and dangerously tie the hands of lawmakers. Perhaps the worst of those is Proposal 6. It would require a vote of the people before the state could fund any international bridge crossing. It was brought on by Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun.

There seems little reason to believe that this is nothing more than Maroun throwing a hissy fit. He hasn't been able to get his way on building a bridge himself, so he's trying to keep Lansing out of the business. But be that as it may, by itself the proposal has certain merits. There's no reason why a private business cannot build and maintain even an international crossing. It's what we have anyway with the current Detroit/Windsor bridge.

Yet despite that, there are practical issues. Canada has said that it won't allow a private bridge to be built, essentially on the grounds that only governments should control international crossings. The argument is weak, but it is what it is and there's not much Michigan voters can do about that. If another bridge is to be built, it will be built publicly. And, to be fair, the Canadians are willing to put up the lion's share of the funds.

The strongest reason to vote for this proposal is that it supports individual rights. Never mind that we may not care for the attitude of the individual behind it: right is right no matter what we personally think of even the persons involved. But the trouble with enshrining within the Michigan Constitution a popular vote on such things is that such things ought to be up to the Legislature. It's why we elect leaders: to scan the landscape and do the best they can under the circumstances they're facing. Making a major decision such as a bridge which can only help international traffic, international business, and international relations, ought to be left to elected representatives. If we don't like their choices, well, we get a choice on them during the regular elections.

It would be easy to vote for Proposal 6 if for no other reason than to support the idea that individuals with the money and the will should be allowed to finance even international crossings. But as there will be no new bridge that way, it seems a silly and counterproductive effort. It's best to vote no on 6, even if we must do it with a frown and a smirk.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whither Equality?

We are in this world almost daily deluged with calls for equality. It all sounds so good, and everyone seems to want it. But there's only one problem with it.

We are not, any of us, really equal.

This is not to say that we are not political equals. Yet even that phrase leaves a bit of uncertainty: we are only equal because my vote should count as much as yours. That doesn't strike us as equality. It strikes us as justice.

In the same manner, as we have employed this tactic when talking about freedom, education, peace, and so forth, so too do we find that we must apply it to any calls for equality. We need to ask what the supporters of equality really mean. Because any absolute and final equality of circumstances must actually be something which applies only in very, very few cases. Take equal pay for equal work, for example. Notice that we are asking a question whose answer only applies to very strict and definite circumstances. A woman cancer doctor, 50 years old, with 20 years of practice, who graduated from the same schools with the same grades as a complimentary male cancer specialist in the same place of work, and with the same proficiency of work, should get the same pay. No rational mind would argue otherwise. But the case is so limited that only one answer is truly right anyway.

As to the other facet of the argument, well, calls for equality must ring hollow because, again, we are not equal. A brain surgeon isn't equal to a plumber, no matter how much more we want the latter when the faucet breaks or the basement floods, and no matter which is male or female. As a matter of decency, we should not automatically look well on the surgeon nor ill on the plumber. But yet again, that's a point about justice, not equality.

We could refine the case further, but we trust the point is made. When we are demanding equality we are often (if not in fact always) demanding justice. We are asking that we be treated rightly and properly in light of the circumstances which surround us. We are not asking for equality. We are asking for justice.

So, and we are sure many people may have grown tired of us asking yet we must, when you demand equality, do you really want that? If so, how? Why? For we need to remember that the only sure way to make folks equal is downward, to the where no one is above the lowest common denominator.

That the average person means equality in the sense of true justice we don't doubt. Still, it is when we use terms wrongly that we have the greatest troubles. It is then when the radical fringe of any given group may take the day. Yet when we clarify our thoughts, when we strive to end misunderstanding by calling things what they are, then, indeed, justice wins out. Isn't that what we really want?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moderates are Conservative

New polling suggests pretty heavily that the Democrats and President Barack Obama need the so-called moderate vote in order to win elections, while the GOP can rely on the conservative vote quite readily. This can be interpreted in several ways, but perhaps the most insightful is this: moderates aren't really moderates, as a group, but, rather, lean towards more traditional and familiar thoughts whenever in doubt.

That makes sense, in the end. For when there is a crisis, don't most people act based on what they know? When President Reagan was elected back in 1980 to stem the tide of Democratic and hence more liberal leadership, what was his appeal? To make America great again, based on the traditional American values of individualism and hard work. When the GOP ran the tide last November, what was the big question: nothing less than obtrusive, interfering government trampling the rights of the people.

The moderates responded as they knew how, by throwing out those who did not support real American values. That's why conservatives don't have to appeal too overtly to the presumed middle: they aren't actually in the center after all. They are in fact more moderate to conservative rather than being between the left and the right as they are generally portrayed.

Given the fact that so few people, about 20 percent or one in five, call themselves liberal, and it seems that what we truly have in our nation today is an overall aversion to liberalism. Even the presumed center appears to harbor similar doubts about the left, seeing as the Democrats need to get about 60% of the middle of the road vote to win major elections. It is a telling statistic, and does not bode well for any long term success for the party of Jefferson and Jackson.

Of course, the Democratic Party left the beliefs of those American stalwarts behind eons ago. But that is a tale for another time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On Being Good

One of the great debates between the Christian and the scientist is the degree to which we are animal or spiritual. Many scientists wish us to be wholly scientific in our approach to humanity and understanding of ourselves. It is really a rather shallow outlook on human nature or, even, the necessary consequences of a purely scientific view of who we are.

Science has apparently discovered the part of our brain which helps us to recognize justice. It thus asserts, at least in some quarters, that goodness is innate within us physically. Yet that attitude ignores a very real point. The possibility that good occurs in us naturally is an entirely different question from the judgment of what is good, or the expectation that people will do good.

How do we know what is good except to be able to judge it in our individual and societal actions? Or are our scientifically minded friends suggesting that we just 'do things' and they happen to be good? Either way, any judgment about good, any assertion that 'this is good' cannot come wholly or entirely from within ourselves; there are too many of us with too many of our own nuanced ideas of good and bad.

Or are you saying that everyone from childhood, without guidance of any kind (parental, societal, or spiritual) will necessarily elect to do good? No Lord of the Flies scenarios possible? To claim that we are innately good begs the question of why people (and it should be obvious that all people do bad things sometimes regardless of physical construction) do bad things. Why does the thief steal, if he knows in his heart and head that it's wrong? Further, what's free will, if we are born with, say, no choice but to do good? Indeed, if we have no choice but to do good, if it is 'just what we do' then even calling our actions good comes into question. What's so good about doing what we cannot help but do?

It should surprise no one that we are hard wired to recognize justice; we are, at the end of the day, physical as well as spiritual creatures. It should not be shocking news that a just and all knowing God in the very act of creation would make our physical selves able to recognize spiritual, eternal, and absolute truths, truths outside our own will, thus enabling us to see (so to speak) justice. That science has discovered as much enhances rather than detracts from our knowledge of God. It strengthens, not weakens, our relationship with Him. It makes our spiritual side and our physical side properly complimentary. It raises us from the mere animal into a higher plane of existence.

Science does not tell us who we are in our entirety. It only sets us on that road. How far we trail along that path is ultimately up to us. And the questions we discover along that way will not be answered empirically.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Left Demands Schitzophrenic Religion

The left does not understand religion. It cries for the separation of Church and State on the one hand yet demands that religion do its job on the other. Well, you can't have it both ways.

When it comes to feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and providing medical care, liberals very easily remind Christians of their Christian duty. It's almost droll: when these issues are raised, you know you're supposed to be doing this and that, aren't you, Christians? Yet mention the right to life or the sanctity of marriage, and Christians are scaling that false wall of separation.

It simply cannot be both ways. If you're going to insist that the Church live up to Its call then you cannot also tell Her that She cannot preach the entire call. If feeding the hungry is a moral good despite, perhaps, being a duty in which religious practice is steeped, then so too is defending the unborn. If housing the homeless is a moral good based to a great degree on religious sentiment, then so to is the recognition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Likewise, you cannot demand that Christians leave their duty to their creed at the voting booth curtain. If you expect them to vote for government solutions when the question of worldly poverty arises, then you must expect them to vote their religious duty towards ending abortion. We simply aren't talking about wholly religious issues on things such poverty and life. We're talking about basic moral questions the answers to which define ourselves as a society.

Yes, and define ourselves as Christians. If we are expected to be whole Christians then we must live up to that. And society must allow it if it is to be just, civil, and moral.

What those do when they demand we not vote our creed in practical application is nothing short of effrontery. It is insulting and immoral in itself. The left doesn't get that. That's why it's so critical that, on November 6th, we vote our creed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rats leaving a sinking ship

Are we witnessing an Romney Tsunami? Several prominent newspapers have come in with endorsements of the Massachusetts Republican, newspapers which supported President Barack Obama in 2008. The Orlando Sentinel, the Tennessean, The New York Observer; they all endorsed Barack Obama in the last election, yet are siding with Mitt Romney this time around. There are others as well.

Is this genuine, or are they merely following the pack? With Romney surging ahead in many of the polls, you have to wonder. Still, when the papers who supported Barack Obama not that long ago are now abandoning him, it is a telling sign of his accomplishments. Or lack thereof.

When the Orlando Sentinel chides the President for a lack of bipartisan efforts on the budget, it plays right into the hands of the GOP. What has Paul Ryan said so often? The House has passed several budgets in recent years while the White House and the Democratic controlled Senate have not. And the budget is not the only issue where the White House has failed to be truly bipartisan, says the newspaper.

Isn't it the Democrats who preach 'reaching across the aisle'? Isn't it the Democrats who are supposed to be inclusive and tolerant? We see that they are not. And that is what this election is about: exposing the fraud of the left. They talk the talk. They do not walk the walk. When even those of the same stripe begin to admit as much, then whom to vote for in November becomes an easy choice.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Romney 2, Obama 0.

Who won the debate last night? That question seemed to be on the mind of every per...political wonk out there. Now it's in the hands of the spin doctors in both parties.

But who won? Really?

Likely as not, Mitt Romney. While President Barack Obama was much more on the offensive yesterday evening, Governor Romney was no less on that attack than in their first go 'round. So as to actually won, the jury is out as it was very close. But when thinking about who won from the standpoint of practicality, Romney did.

He scored so well in the first debate that the President needed to come out not merely swinging, but swinging for the fences. Arguably he was trying to do that, yet without the best results. It was like, as at the very best for the outcome was indeed close enough to be considered a draw, his team scored a run the inning after the opposition hit a grand slam. It was an improvement. It was hardly a triumph.

As such, it means Mitt Romney won. Yes, yes, we'll hear for about another day the fact checkers going nuts. But so far as that goes, each candidate apparently struggled enough in trying to pin the other down that no one of us in the voting public can ever actually know to the greatest detail who was the most right. They could be throwing any numbers at all out there and who would really know the difference? Even with the fact checkers, well, who checks them? Simply because CNN can find people to say A while Fox News has folks who say B means little in itself. The general populace doesn't know nor have the time or interest to look into most debate points themselves.

Romney won because Obama could not set himself apart from his opponent in any substantive way. With the foreign policy debate set for next week and the Benghazi maelstrom looming so low above the President's head, the best expectation is that the GOP challenger will be in the best position heading into November.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What Do You Cut in School?

A school in New York City does not have physical education classes for its kindergarteners. This has outraged parents, who want structured gym classes so that their kids learn to understand the value of physical activity and as it would keep them from outside recess (one parent said this was because the school was in a bad neighborhood). The school received a failing grade in a review last year, all of which seems to point out that criticism is justified.

But not because of a lack of `phys ed.

No one disputes that children who are physically active are better than those who aren't. Yet of all the things expected of our schools, isn't this the least important? Isn't being active something far more of a parent's responsibility than that of the schools? Why in the world, anyway, should the lack of physical education appear to matter more to those Brooklyn parents than the fact that the school is failing all around? Shouldn't learning sums and how to read rate higher than that pale concern?

The obvious retort is that children who are physically active tend to be better students all the way around. Still, that begs the question of whose job it is to keep them active, and it blows the question of academic integrity out the window. Further, being in good shape hardly matters if you can't communicate with everyone around you, or if you lack the basic skills which you need to hold almost any job out there.

The article goes on to cite that only 6 states actually require a recommended 150 minutes of phys ed (oh heck, skip that: gym class. Prettying up what we call it really doesn't matter) per week in elementary schools. We should be horrified at that? Not if play time isn't a true part of a school's daily grind.

And that's what it is, when all gets said and done. Play time. That's not a bad thing by itself. Yet not every good thing is or ought to be the province of the schools. Especially for skills as relatively unimportant as hitting a ball with a bat or shooting a ball through a goal. When the question of school budgets come up along with the discussions about about to keep and what to cut, gym class ought to be the first item to go.

Monday, October 15, 2012


It was all over the National Football League yesterday. It has been all over the World Wrestling Entertainment shows for the last several weeks. It isn't a color you would expect on either production. It's pink, and it's meant to spread breast cancer awareness. There are several objections which may be made about that, not the least of which is that pink is hardly the color of a manly man. But this isn't about men. It isn't about anyone in particular. It's about a deadly disease, and it's serious. We can debate about the degree to which it is taken seriously by those calling attention to it. We might say that it is nothing more than an attempt at ratings glory, and that is that. We might say, as such, that it is shallow and unworthy of our attention. And it might be little more than that. Yet, is it? Is anything which puts before us a reminder of something which kills people wrong? Is it ever wrong to remind people that there are diseases out there which threaten to kill half our population and encourage us to act against them? Even if it is presented to us not, perhaps, for the best of reasons, is it wrong to do something which calls us to work against a deadly affliction wrong? Of course not. We must support any and all reminders of our duty towards our brothers and sisters. We are all in this together, and we must fight all which afflicts any of us, together. We must support any and all calls which remind us to fight for life; for the lives of those around us, in our offices, in our everyday experiences; in our homes. It's as simple as that.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Joe Biden and personal beliefs

Okay, it's been two days now, but it still isn't too late to talk about the vice presidential debate this past Thursday.

Perhaps the most telling moment of the entire debate came late, when a question was asked about abortion. Paul Ryan came out against it in all cases except rape, incest, and life of the mother. Vice President Joe Biden came out for it. Neither position was unexpected. Yet the stance taken by Vice President Biden was surely the weakest. He's personally against it, but can't force his beliefs on others.

Really, Joe? Really? How long have you been in politics? Between your years in the Senate and the Vice Presidency and a county council seat in Delaware, just about 43. And what have you done in all those years? You've made laws. You've forced your personal beliefs on others.

Any lawmaker who says he can't force his personal beliefs on others is a charlatan. He does it all the time: makes judgments about what is good for the people and works to put in pace statutes which compel them to do his will. That's not a criticism, or said with any disdain. It's what lawmakers do. It's okay in itself.

But what is not okay is when a lawmaker says he cannot convert his personal beliefs into law. Aren't all your beliefs personal, Mr. Vice President? Aren't you the person who holds them? Even after debating a point, even after the consideration of what may or may not be the best thing to do in a given situation, isn't what you support a personal view? Again, in itself, that isn't necessarily wrong. It's what you have come to believe. And the circumstances by which you came to be believe them hardly matter. They're your beliefs, and you are trying to transform them into public policy.

To be sure, one cannot make what are solely points of faith into public policy. It would be wrong to make a law which says you must accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that is entirely a matter of faith. But abortion, the question at hand, simply isn't a question of faith. It's a question of right and wrong which exists outside of any particular faith. It's a question which you have legislated about, Mr. Biden, by trying to force Catholic institutions to provide abortion related services.

Why is that personal belief all right, Mr. Vice President? Because it has gotten you elected to office? If such is the case, then you are worse than a charlatan. What you are then should not be said. It is understandable that you turned your head down when discussing abortion. You know and understand the real embarrassment of your position.

Lawmakers enforce their personal opinions on the people all the time. To say anything else is simply stupid. It treats them with disdain rather than respect. And it calls into question a lawmaker's virtue, and, in this particular case, the virtue of a Vice President of the United States.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

High Gas Prices Hurt Everyone

As Michigan gas prices continue to remain high, and as we face the continual threat of sudden spikes in gas costs, life has become more difficult for Metro Area drivers. Whether you're simply going to work, doing charity, hitting the town or taking a recreational spin, it hurts the pocketbook when fuel is four bucks a gallon.

Government supporters at all levels, federal, state, and local, love to preach about how budget cuts hurt the entire community. Yet we rarely think about how, in detail, high gasoline prices hurt more, and more profoundly. When people complain that state parks can't be closed because it hurts the locality, no one talks about how high gas prices may well keep people out of the campgrounds anyway. When government lovers assert that certain air routes losing subsidies hurts localities, no one talks about how high gas prices make it more difficult for anyone or any supplies to get to the less traveled areas. When Lansing supporters says budget cuts hurt the poor, no one complains about how high gas prices make it harder to help the poor simply because willing helpers and needed services can't get to them.

Gas prices affect us all, directly and every day. And something could have been done about them long ago. Our leaders could have opened up more areas to oil exploration. But they have not, by and large because they believe that the environment is more important than people.

This should be a premier issue in the November elections, whether we're talking about elections in Michigan or nationally. If we can't move people and things around cheaply, we all hurt. Think about that before you pull the lever next month.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Real Bigots are on the Left

Bullying is a big deal these days. But, it seems, only certain kinds of bullying are bad bullying.

A Michigan teen comes out the winner when a failed attempt at bullying her is turned into a good. That's a good response to real bullying, and West Branch residents should be proud. But what happens when someone is bullied simply because of a political stance? We ought to ask Stacey Dash that question, if we're really interested in doing away with all bullying.

The actress came out for Mitt Romney, and was immediately lambasted in the Twitterverse. She has been called a traitor, and worse. You can check out some of the worse stuff, stuff it isn't proper to repeat except to make a point about liberal intolerance, here:

She is invited to do all sorts of reprehensible acts, for simply following her conscience and making a political statement about a current Presidential election. Yet the seems to be no liberal outcry over bullying her.

Do you know why? Because bullying only really matters when done towards persons and over issues which the left cares about. You may read into that whatever you may wish, because we are in no way supporting any type of bullying (though we will be accused of it). We are however calling into question the motives of the left when they preach against bullies. All too often, it involves only their pet causes rather than being about something larger, something which covers all wrongs and not merely select ones.

Ms. Dash is holding her own. The best response to bullying is to stand up to it and call out the bullies. She is doing just that. Meanwhile, it is fair to wonder whether the left, who are so quick to call out those who speak against them and their friends, will be very quick to call out their own liberal bullies.

We doubt it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Respect Life at all Times

Today is Respect Life Sunday. It is a day which the Catholic Church has set aside each year to remind people that life must be respected from the moment of conception. Naturally enough, the aim is to convince everyone that abortion, and things such as assisted suicide, are moral evils.

It cannot be said enough that being against abortion is a philosophic and not inherently religious stance. Society likes to dismiss it as merely religious so that it can justify the deed. Separation of Church and State and all that, you know. It's funny how they don't mind religious action on other matters, such as poverty and capital punishment, but that is a question for another time.

Human beings have human babies. Common sense tells us as much. Science, if you simply must have everything interpreted empirically, tells us as much. When a couple decides to have a child, they fully expect a human child. Even in the despicable cases of rape and incest, we cannot set aside the question of personhood involved with the child simply for the sake of the unfortunate (in terms of having a crime committed against her) mother. We know that a pregnant woman is carrying a human being. To deny that is intellectual dishonesty, or worse: a moral evil perpetuated by those who benefit from the act of abortion. This must include the men and women who happen to want one merely because a child would cramp their style.

Likewise, assisted suicide and any form of euthanasia must be seen too as abhorrent. Did you put yourself on this Earth? No; indeed, you had no say on the matter. Why ought you have in say in how and when you leave? We have addressed the question philosophically, without an appeal to any higher authority. This before we get into the question of someone helping you...which means that someone helping you check yourself out must be doing something wrong too.

These conclusions can be derived by logical argument and inference without any reference to religion. It is time that we as a society accept it as such, and act accordingly. Short of that, we are simply savages.

Finally, you must respect life from conception if you expect your life to be respected equally. We are less than human otherwise; you are less than human otherwise. If you will not respect someone else's life simply because it is their life, on what grounds can you demand respect for yours? Because you're already here? Listen to how selfish that sounds. Where's the respect in such attitudes?

All right, this is harsh. But it's less harsh than denying a human being humanity.

Respect life at all times. Especially at its weakest and most defenseless.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Wind Roars?

Michigan, along with five other states and with the blessing of the Obama Administration, has signed on to a plan to, perhaps, in the future, put wind turbines offshore in the Great Lakes. The idea, of course, is to create alternative energy sources. And, of course, there is significant opposition to the plan.

We are skeptical of the long term value of wind power. Yet it seems a better alternative than solar power, at least in the short run. Especially when you consider that the folks behind the current plan, if their numbers are good, expect that enough energy could be created to power 300,000 homes while providing about 20% of the world's wind generated electricity. The plan would also, supposedly, anyway, encourage investment in wind power technology. That would in turn create jobs.

So far, so good, so far as it goes. But what are the criticisms? They could harm life on the lakes. They will kill birds (as wind farms already in existence do) and perhaps displace other animals. They would mar the seascape of lakeside homeowners. They might even drip greases into the water, causing harm to the ecosystem.

None of these concerns are without merit. It is wrong to wantonly harm animal life, for example. But would the harm caused by offshore wind farms be wanton? Not really; we need the energy, and as such the harm to animals becomes corollary and not directly intended. People and their needs are more important than birds and fish, after all. Possible injury to the ecosystem needs to be taken seriously too. If our aim is help our brothers and sisters with necessary human requirements, then we cannot do things which may, however unintended, hurt them.

As to hurting the view, well, perhaps. But now we are getting into the matter of the needs of the many versus the needs of the few. That's not a point to be administered lightly, for we never want to harm the legitimate rights of the individual even if it's of a minority view. But we cannot have a tyranny of the minority either. If a feasible new energy source for the bulk of us means a less spectacular view for, we might as well say it, the economically better off (how many dirt poor people have lakeside homes?) then that's just their bad luck. Besides, we doubt the view would be particularly good from cold and dark homes.

As with so many other innovations, a proper caution and a decent respect for the needs and rights of all involved must be taken into consideration. But in the end, reason must rule. If lake generated wind power has far greater pluses than minuses (so long as no real moral objections are found), pursue it. Otherwise, forget it.

The real ideal on the issue would be to allow private initiative to seek other, better, and cost effective energy sources rather than government pushes for presumably PC ideas such as wind power. But we write in context and expect to be taken that way. That other issue is for another time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Race is Closer than the Left Concedes

The November elections are nearly upon us. The first presidential debate is this Wednesday, and pundits are, of course, all over it. Many are already explaining away President Barack Obama's anticipated performance, saying thing such as Romney is a better debater and that the President's explanations tend to be too long for the debate format. All of that is as may be; such things can be argued as subjective and without real merit. Still, that defenses such as those are coming out well ahead of the debate itself may suggest something about the upcoming election which the President's supporters don't care to see.

We are told almost incessantly about Barack Obama's lead in the pools and that the race looks like his to lose. He has momentum, supposedly; Romney does not. He has big leads in the swing states, the media tell us, and that will be all the difference. If such is truly the case, and when you look at the more reliable pools such as the Rasmussen Report we doubt it, why the worry about the opening debate?

Part of the fears are natural enough. Anybody, in the heat of the moment, can make a mistake so galling that it turns things around while an opponent may say something which so resonates that it captures the public imagination and propels them to victory. Yet that can't be the Democrats' whole worry. It seems more likely that they, in their hearts, aren't all that sure of victory.

When you consider that the GOP leads in almost every generic Congressional poll (and indeed is expected to gain seats in the House as well as retake the Senate) you have to wonder whether the Democrats themselves really believe that an Obama reelection is preordained. When someone so out of the mainstream as Michigan GOP hopeful Kerry Bentivolio has been placed in the likely Republican column of most congressional polls, you have to question the depth of support for the President. Further, political races tend to become closer anyway as actual elections approach. What does it all mean?

It means that November 2012 is far from locked up, and the President and his allies know it. Indeed, they are likely driven by fear, whether a simple fear of the unknown or perhaps something worse. When you consider the fact that most pools are skewed Democratic and against likely voters, you can see their fear quite readily. When the Administration is trying to harm the military vote while shoring up the vote of those without proper identification, you can smell it. They won't say it because they can't, for all the obvious reasons. The President and his minions are panicking. It is a delightful aroma.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Today we buried an old friend. Such things are always rather somber, no matter how much we try to look forward in hope and faith and at the same time remember things well. Still, the service was beautiful, and, we hope, that comfort was with the family. There was a bit of grumbling about the propriety of the situation as a whole. We won't go into the details; they are not important. We will not even deign to judge the issues in question; they are likewise superfluous. We will even go so far as to say that some criticisms may be justified, yet we wonder whether the best attitude on days and times like these are compassion and empathy. What we had was a family in grief. There were friends to comfort them. The best thing to do is to set aside uncomfortable questions no matter legitimate, and be friends. Give the benefit of the doubt. There were many there in grief; we should answer with consolation, not judgment. They were praying the best they knew, praying for a lost loved one; our duty is to pray with them. We are not responsible for their sins; we are responsible for ourselves as friends. It is not a time to ask questions which are ultimately not ours to ask anyway. It is only a time to remember a friend on the next journey of their lives, and to offer them Godspeed. Godspeed, my friend.