Friday, March 22, 2019

Wish I'd written that

Vince was a grown-up. A lot of guys my age sported hair twice the length of mine, wore chokers of faux jade and faux teak, and favored bracelets carved from rhinoceros bone. Vince wore a watch. A thick, heavy, expensive watch. If he were ever kidnapped, he could turn that watch over to his captors and walk free, and they'd probably give him twenty dollars for cab fare home."

— Rupert Holmes, Where the Truth Lies

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Pope Francis Releases NCAA Bracket; Has Gonzaga Winning It All

(VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21) - Pope Francis announced his NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket today, and revealed that he thinks the championship will be won by the Gonzaga University Bulldogs.

In an exclusive interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy Father admitted that although he hadn’t had as much time to work on his bracket as he has in the past, he still feels confident about his selections.

“Gonzaga,” Francis said without hesitation when asked who he had winning it all. “I just have a feeling this is finally their year. Marquette could give them some trouble in the Sweet 16, but it they can get past them, I think they will go all the way."

In addition to Gonzaga, Francis’ other Final Four picks are Saint Louis in the East, Seton Hall in the Midwest, and defending champion Villanova in the South. When asked if he'd chosen Gonzaga because of its Jesuit connection, the Pope, himself a Jesuit, smiled. "We must stick together," he said. “I cannot say anything bad about the other teams, though. After all," he added to laughter from the reporters present, "who am I to judge?"

The Pope revealed that he had discussed his predictions with Emeritus Pope Benedict during a phone conversation the two had on Tuesday, but declined to reveal who the former Holy Father had winning the title. “I know he followed the selections avidly on Sunday. He and I disagree on some of the regions, but if he wants to share his choice with the world, I assume he will do so at the proper time.”

Francis expressed appreciation that this year’s Final Four, to be played in Minneapolis on April 6 and 8, does not conflict with Easter. “With the liturgies on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, it can be difficult to keep up with the results. Thankfully, this year that will not be the case.”

The Pope chuckled when asked whether his election as Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church means that his bracket is now to be considered infallible. “The Catholic faithful are under no obligation to follow my predictions,” Francis said. “In fact, my colleagues in Buenos Aries might suggest one would better off if they didn’t. But it has been a good month so far - perhaps it is a sign that my luck is changing.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Opera Wednesday

No matter what it is that's bothering you, an overture written by Mozart can usually cure it, or at least make you feel a lot better. Case in point is this charmer, the overture to Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), first performed in 1782.* It's hard to imagine it not being just as sprightly to audiences at its premiere as it is to us today.

*The role of the benevolent Pasha, a non-singing part, was often played by Werner Klemperer, our beloved Colonel Klink.

This performance is by the Vienna Symphony, under the baton of Metropolitan Opera principal conductor Fabio Luisi, in a 2006 appearance in Japan. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dan Jenkins, R.I.P.

This story dates back more years than I want to remember. My wife and I were sitting around in the living room one night reading. I don't remember what it was she was looking at, but I had You Gotta Play Hurt, the new novel (at the time) by Dan Jenkins. It was about a sportswriter named Jim Tom Pinch, who bore a suspicious resemblance to Jenkins himself; Pinch was part of Jenkins' wacky universe, having appeared as a supporting character in Jenkins' best-known novel, Semi-Tough, as well as several others. This was a chance for Jim Tom to star in a story of his own.

My wife was telling me something funny from her book, and in retrospect what I should have done was stick a finger in my book and turn all my attention to her. Not that I was not paying attention, mind you (you don't stay happily married for 26 years by doing that), but by letting my eye continue to drift down the page while I listened to her, I was dooming her dooming her story to eternal obscurity.

The end of her story and the end of the paragraph I was reading came more or less simultaneously. As for what happened next—well, the only way to really do justice to it is to say that I completely, utterly, lost it. I had been confronted with a scene that was beyond Jenkins's usual level of absurdity; it was so outrageous, so utterly ridiculous, that there was no possible way I could have reacted otherwise. I suspect it was the reaction Jenkins was hoping for; I like to think that when he'd finished the paragraph, he might have read it over and had a good chuckle himself. I was able to go one better than that, though—perhaps several times better.

Had my wife not known me as well as she does, she might have thought I was suffering from convulsions, or was perhaps about to throw up. As it was, there was nothing she could do but sit there and watch as I spent five minutes, maybe ten, cackling hysterically. Have you ever seen the famous clip of Steve Allen laughing uncontrollably at some blooper he'd committed? If you have, you'll know what I mean. And if you haven't, here it is. The description calls it a "laughing fit," and that's what I suppose it was. I was trying to keep the tears from getting the pages of the book wet, and whenever I tried to tell her what it was I'd found so unaccountably funny, I was only able to get a word or two out before I started all over again. She wasn't offended that I was ignoring her story, I don't think. I'm a serious enough person that I think she's usually just happy to see me laughing. It was, without question, the single funniest thing I have ever read, seen, or heard in my nearly fifty-nine years on this planet. And what was so funny, you might ask?

I'm not going to tell you.

Don't be offended, though; the point of fact is that in the twenty-some years since this happened, I've never told anyone what it was that was so funny. The only person I ever did tell was my wife, when I was eventually, after repeated attempts, able to get it all out in a somewhat coherent form. She agreed that it was, indeed, very funny, although perhaps not quite as funny as I thought. But that was, to this day, the last time I've even read that scene, let alone tried to describe it to anyone else. I suppose I'm afraid I'll find out it wasn't as funny as I originally thought it was, which would not only be disappointing, it would ruin a story I've been able to live off of for nearly thirty years.

I kind of doubt that, though. Maybe I wouldn't react the same way I had that night, but then again maybe I would have. That's the kind of writer Dan Jenkins was, after all. He was, quite simply, the greatest sportswriter ever, and I'm not even going to try and equivocate by adding "one of the greatest," or "arguably," or "possibly," or any other way of trying to hedge my bets. He was the best of all time, period, and he'll continue to be for as long as his writing is in print.

Dan Jenkins died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 90, and he certainly doesn't have to worry about his work being forgotten. I'm not going to attempt to recap his career; I'll leave that to two excellent articles, here and here. And for those of you who say this story has been more about me than about Jenkins, I'd answer that this is perhaps the way it should be. One of the reasons Dan Jenkins was a great sportswriter was that he was also a great storyteller. And what better way to remember a great storyteller than with a story of my own, one that in the end really tells you more about him than it does about me. I'd like to think that he might even have enjoyed my story, although he might also have given me one of those sideway glances that you could almost see, so vividly did he describe them.

I daresay that as long as people read sportswriters (and I mean real sportswriters, which you can still find from time to time, not what passes for writing nowadays), they'll be reading the books and articles and (yes) tweets by Dan Jenkins, and learning, and laughing. What writer could possibly ask for any more of a legacy than that?

Come to think of it, maybe I'll read that story again, after all. My bet is that it will still be just as funny as it was all those years ago All the same, I'd better make sure my wife isn't trying to read to me at the same time.

Monday, March 18, 2019

All Class -- Thanks, Debi!

We discuss television often, primarily on the other blog, but this report that came to my attention tonight is a time to say "thank you" to a legend who just announced her  retirement after 43 years.

Debi Chard, the affable Iowan who moved to South Carolina in the early 1970's, serving part-time as a legal secretary to Jean Toal and was a radio news reporter in her early career, moved down 26 in 1976 and joined WCSC-TV as a reporter and anchored the Saturday news broadcasts. Her career later made her a top-level anchor and allowed her to be the fourth cog in WCSC's legendary Bill Sharpe, Charlie Hall, and Warren Peper newscasts when it expanded in 1991. After 43 years, she announced 
her retirement on their Thursday evening newscast.

I remember growing up watching her do news.  Now she's retiring after a wonderful career.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Psst - are you running for president?

Pardon me, but by any chance are you running for president of the United States? The reason I ask is because it seems as if just about everyone is, so I didn’t want to offend you.

At least count, 581 people have filed with the Federal Election Commission that they are candidates for president, or at least contemplating it. John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, became the latest to jump in the pool this morning. There’s the incumbent, of course, along with growing number of (past and present) congressmen, senators, governors, mayors, authors, businessmen, self-help gurus, and maybe Mabel who lives just down the street. They aren’t all credible candidates, of course; some of them are what would politely be considered longshots, candidates for whom everything would have to break the right way for them to have a chance. Some of them are vanity candidates, people who want to see their names in print and don’t really care if they get any votes or not. Some of them are delusional, like those you read about who get six or seven of their friends together and suddenly they pronounce themselves the new pope. And some of them are Marianne Williamson. Or Cory Booker.

For each of those 581 candidates that have thrown their hats in the ring, you can bet there are two or three others who’ve thought about it, or would like to. Why so many people pine for the nation’s top job is something of a mystery to me. I wanted it once myself, and planned for it, but that was when I was young and impressionable and heavily involved in politics. As Saint John (and Ingmar Bergman) might have said, I was looking through a glass darkly. Thankfully, I’ve since given up those childish dreams, but it appears a lot of people haven’t. It seems to me as if the job itself is nothing more than four (or eight) years of grief, with your opponents calling you all sorts of horrible and grotesque names, and your allies spending half their time stabbing you in the back while they work on their plot to succeed you. Honestly, it’s as if House of Cards was some kind of how-to show on the DIY Network.

It’s true that one has to have a healthy ego to succeed in politics; it’s equally true, it seems to me, that one doesn’t become interested in politics, doesn’t take the step into seeking elective office, without harboring, in the dark recesses of the mind, the dream of hearing “Hail to the Chief” as they stride across the stage with the crowd’s cheers ringing in their ears. And then the light turns green and the car behind honks, and real life intercedes.

We complain about the problems facing the country, we elect someone to deal with them, and then we spend four years complaining about the job that person is doing. Actually, we spend about four days complaining about it, and then candidates start lining up to take the job away. When John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon announced their candidacies for the presidency, they did it in the same year as the election. That’s the way it was done back then. Sometimes a candidate didn’t even make the announcement official until the time of the convention. When Jimmy Carter became a candidate two years before the 1976 election, people laughed at him. (We know who had the last laugh, don’t we?) Now we have candidates who drop out before even one primary vote or caucus ballot has been taken. Debates are held a year before the primaries. There’s even talk of first-in-the-nation New Hampshire moving their primary to December.

The results of this new-style politicking are obvious. By the time the election actually rolls around, voters have become detached from the process; everyone’s sick and tired of both the campaigns and the candidates, and sometimes I think people who vote early do so just to get the damn thing over with. You know what they say about familiarity breeding contempt; perhaps it’s something candidates should think about. We already know that, no matter who wins, people will be angry about the result. There will be allegations of voter fraud, murmurings about abolishing the Electoral College, even suggestions that we go to a parliamentary form of government. It’s a great way to kick off four years of presidential leadership, isn’t it?

There’s only one logical answer for this, and it’s so obvious it’s staring us right in the eyes.

It’s that we need more candidates for president. About 152 million, to be precise. That’s one estimate as to how many people are eligible to run for president of the United States, and from that it’s clear we’re nowhere near the number we really need. Seriously, it’s evident that nobody is happy with the choices before us, that everyone knows best, and that anyone we disagree with becomes manifestly unsuitable for anything, let alone the presidency. The answer, therefore, is for everyone to become a candidate. Even those who aren’t yet qualified—hell, why stand on ceremony? There’s probably a 50/50 chance the Supreme Court would agree, so why not try it?

If everyone was a candidate, and everyone voted for him or herself, then the election would end in a deadlock, with each candidate having one vote. At that rate, you’d only need to convince one person—a friend, family member, spouse or lover—to switch their vote, and you’d have the election in the bag. You’d be in good company; 24 times the winning candidate has failed to achieve 50% of the popular vote, from James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. You’d also guarantee that as president, you’d have at least a 50% approval rating from your supporters. (Unless you have some kind of self-hatred complex.)

So c’mon, get with it! Time’s a-wasting; only 610 days until the 2020 election, and there’s a lot of work still to be done. At this rate, maybe I’ll even give it another shot.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Video trailer for "The Electronic Mirror"

I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in Minnesota we're still in the throws of winter, with another five inches of snow today and lows in the single digits. On a night like this, I can't think of anything better than to sit next to a roaring fireplace with a good book. Unfortunately, I don't have the fireplace, but I do have the book for you: The Electronic Mirror

Here's a brand-new trailer for The Electronic Mirror, in case you need help making up your mind:

My thanks as always to the fabulous Carol M Ford Productions for the production and narration of the trailer for The Electronic Mirror. Even if you've already got the book (and if you haven't, why not?) be sure to give it a look.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wish I'd written that

A mystery is something that is beyond human knowledge and comprehension, which means that I should be wasting my time in even trying to investigate it. No, this case is nothing more than a puzzle, and I happen to like puzzles."

- Philip Kerr, March Violets

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Poetry Wednesday

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
     It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
     It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
     And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
     And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
     There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
     Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
     World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

-- "God's Grandeur," Gerard Manley Hopkins (public domain)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Green with envy

I figure I've seen two movies in theaters over the last three years*, and both of those were documentaries, so it's not surprising that I haven't watched the Academy Awards for many years. There's just no connection there for me anymore; it would be like watching India's version of the Emmys (they're called the ITA Awards, in case you were wondering) to find out what the most popular show in Delhi is. That doesn't mean that I've completely stopped paying attention to the Oscars, though; when you write about television, even vintage television, the entertainment pages have a way of making themselves known to you.

*Excluding RiffTrax and the Metropolitan Opera, of course.

I'll admit, though, feeling a certain sense of satisfaction Monday morning when I found out that Green Book had won the Oscar for Best Picture. It's not that I'm a big fan of Green Book, or a fan at all; nor do I have anything against the other contenders, such as Roma, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Black Panther. Since I haven't seen any of them, it's not as if I had a dog in the fight.

So why did Green Book's win please me? Primarily because it irritated so many other people. I'd read for months about the hate for the movie that existed in certain quarters: that it was a feel-good movie that ignored real problems in the country; that it was a warmed-over Driving Miss Daisy; that it presented a saccharine view of race relations in America; that it wasn't particularly factual. It was the kind of vituperation that usually indicates fear—fear that this pariah of a movie might actually come out on top. If I'd thought more about it, I'd have taken it as a sign to phone a bookie and place a few bucks on Green Book to win, and then I wouldn't have to worry about finding a new job.

For instance, critic A.O. Scott, writing in The New York Times, referred to Green Book as "a Road Trip Through a Land of Racial Clichés," and went on to describe it as "a sentimental tale of prejudices overcome and common humanity affirmed; that its politics will be as gently middle-of-the-road as its humor; that it will invite a measure of self-congratulation about how far we, as a nation, have come."

But—what's wrong with that? Aren't these supposed to be the kinds of things we want? I thought it was a good thing to overcome prejudice and affirm common humanity, and even if it hasn't happened universally, shouldn't we celebrate that it might at least have happened between a couple of people? One step at a time, right? And what's wrong with middle-of-the-road politics—we're always being encouraged to reject extremism, aren't we? As for being self-congratulatory, I think such critics could use a healthy dose of perspective; while we as a nation may still have a ways to go before becoming the country we hope to be, only someone in total denial would suggest that we haven't come a long way from the '60s, or the '40s, or the '20s. Honestly, it makes you think these people don't want things to get better, because then they wouldn't have anything to scold about.

Scott's arrogant review points out precisely why I was glad Green Book won, why so many non-critics saw the movie as a likable story with occasionally pointed humor. The more perspective columnists point to a backlash against the anti-Green Book campaign, not unlike that which swept Donald Trump into office in 2016. Perhaps it's not a like-for-like comparison, but the left seems hopelessly, myopically, unable to comprehend that most people don't like to be told what to think, and they certainly don't like to have someone condescend to them. We're not fools—we know Green Book isn't a documentary; we understand that America isn't a perfect nation. Does that mean we can't go into a darkened theater, or sit in front of our televisions for a couple of hours, and just enjoy ourselves with a movie, without being lectured to, or hectored, or scolded for chuckling at a joke we think is funny?

The idea that movies have to have a politically progressive viewpoint, that they have to confront social issues by espousing a comfortably leftist ideology, that you cannot be entertained without having to sit through some kind of political indoctrination—well, it's a cliché to say that it would be humorous if it weren't so sad, but it's true. There is no enjoyment for this kind of person unless it comes with a devil's bargain: buy your fun, get a free helping of social justice. It's a BOGO from hell.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be demanding in our standards for better forms of entertainment. Maybe Green Book really isn't a very good movie; more than one critic suggested that it was a mediocre year for movies and that none of the nominated films are without significant flaws. But even if that is the case, surely there has to be a middle ground between the kind of movies on the Hallmark Channel and the Goebbels propaganda machine.

Or maybe not. Maybe that's the kind of "middle-of-the-road" entertainment that people like A.O. Scott so scornfully ridicule. For them, there is only one kind of movie, only one form of entertainment, only one candidate to vote for, only one way to believe.

And as long as they think that way, there will always be Best Picture winners like Green Book for them to hate.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Jussie's twirl

Not long ago many of my liberal friends were describing the Jussie Smollett attack as emblematic of what is happening in the country at large.

Turns out they were right ­– just not in the way they thought.

You know both stories by now. First there was the phony one immediately embraced by a media foaming at the mouth over another chance to write “Just another day in Trump’s racist America.” The one circulated at light speed across social media, equating a red MAGA hat with a Klansman’s white hood. The one tweeted about by Democrat presidential candidates and pinhead celebrities who never miss an opportunity to display another virtue signaling flourish.

And now we have the actual story. Smollett staged the attack, paid the attackers, and then lied about it to police officers and his Empire costars and ABC’s Robin Roberts.

His actions were, indeed, emblematic of 2019 America. We live in a time when the aspirations of many are not wealth or knowledge or compassion, or the attainment of morals and values that contribute to a purpose-driven life. Instead, the objective is victimhood.

How does one explain why a talented actor on a successful prime-time series, earning $65,000 an episode, would choose to cast himself as the innocent prey of two racist, homophobic Trump supporters?

The short version is he was unhappy with his salary. How many of you would be driven to desperation by a weekly $65,000 paycheck?

The longer and more troubling motivation is that victimhood has become a coveted status. It is sought after by the successful with the same zeal real victims exert to escape their plight.

Politicians have long been the worst offenders. Perhaps they still are. We are supposed to admire whichever candidate had to walk the most miles in the deepest snow to get to school every day.

Then we have the Elizabeth Warrens and Rachel Dolezals of the world, who seek to establish their bona fides by claiming association with a historically oppressed group, with no basis for doing so. They want the sympathy (along with any professional benefits) without the suffering.

If it seems worse now it’s because, for the past two years, the partisan hacks that dominate mainstream media have made it their mission to remind women, African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, and pretty much anyone who is not white, male and Christian that they are oppressed citizens under a lunatic racist president.

That provides a convenient excuse for anyone who didn’t get the job or was not admitted to their dream college, or who has any number of grievances that likely could be overcome by patience, concentrated focus and harder work: It’s not me, it’s you. You’re the reason, Mr. President, society, racist/sexist America, that my life isn’t going the way I planned. My fate is out of my hands. I’m just another victim.

Jussie Smollett shouldn’t fit that category. As a gay African-American he holds legitimate membership in two historically oppressed groups. But instead of celebrating how he overcame the remnants of those societal barriers, and becoming a role model for others hoping to do the same, he decided he wanted more. And the best way to get there was to become a victim. Career advancement via what both Cory Booker and Kamala Harris called a “modern day lynching.”

Now that Smollett has become an actual victim – of his own greed and stupidity –he’ll finally get to leverage his black, gay status. The Don Lemons of the world are already rallying to his defense despite his actions. “In his heart he’s a truly good person,” said actress Sheryl Lee Ralph. And after being indicted for filing a false police report, and diverting law enforcement resources in a city where real assaults occur every minute, Smollett was allowed to post bail and head back to work.

Roseanne Barr wrote a racist tweet, and was immediately fired. Is that worse than committing a Class 4 Felony? Might she also be a good person at heart? Didn’t much matter in this case.

“(The) moral authority that comes from being victimized has replaced the desire for admiration or respect for some act of heroism,” wrote Matt Lewis on The Daily Beast website. “I’m not sure what exactly that says about a society, but it can’t be good.”

Monday, February 18, 2019

Wish I'd written that

I think it’s time the NBA just skips the National Anthem. I’d rather not hear it at all if I have hear a complete rewrite. Last year it was (Stacey Ferguson) and I thought that was horrible, but I am shocked that (Anthony Hamilton) would even dare to rewrite the entire song. I could barely recognise the most recognisable song in America. Francis Scott Key would not be happy."

-- Heather Payne, former Point of Grace singer, on Anthony Hamilton's performance of the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star Game at the Spectrum in Charlotte.

That's a new member of the Star Mangled Banner Club.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Retro TV Friday

As most who read the blogs know well, we are huge fans of classical music, whether is the Minnesota Opera, South Carolina Philharmonic, or opera companies from colleges.  Saturday begins the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, with Fox beginning its coverage Sunday with highlights of Saturday's Masters Agility Championship, airing after Daytona 500 Qualifying, which oddly only puts two cars into the field.

A few years ago, when Fox first acquired coverage, they began doing a documentary, NFL Films-style, on the Westminster Dog Show.  This clip of the dog show was entertaining.  Set to Grieg's Peer Gynt, Opus 23, No. IX, the full documentary film features the first dog at a normal pace.  As more dogs go through the course, the music speeds, and at the crescendo of it, you can sense the pressure.  As you might expect, NFL Films-style slow-motion scenes penetrate as the dogs jump through the obstacles.  I don't think pop music could ever be used for this scene of dogs through the course.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Opera Wednesday - ring those bells

Roberta Peters, who made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera at age 20, was one of the most enduring and most loved of American sopranos. She was also a big hit on television, appearing a record 65 times on the Ed Sullivan Show. Well, why not? She not only had the beauty for television, she had a killer voice as well. If anyone could bring opera to the masses, Roberta Peters could.

In what looks to be a television broadcast dated September 29, 1952, Peters sings the Bell Song from Léo Delibes' opera Lakmé. It's a treat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The media gets it wrong AGAIN!

A University of Michigan music professor and his alleged love interest (a relationship that is a SIN per Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1) were arrested for sexual assault.  But what heavily offended us was how that lover was listed as his "husband" when men cannot have husbands, they can only have wives.  Both men were busted for sexual assault.  And this sin was sin, and as thinking of a vintage television show, it's Truth or Consequences, he exchanged the truth and the consequences is arrest.

Please, AP, it is NOT the man's "husband".  The other man just a perverted live-in lover.

Read these Bible verses to confirm what he did was sin.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." -- Leviticus 18:22

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."-- Romans 1:18-32

Monday, January 28, 2019

Thoughts as we mourn those lost to baby murder

Over sixty million have died at the "convenience" called "abortion".  Yet elites forced down a Congress where all finances are lead by the same activists that want to force us to fund killing children.  It made me ponder the attendance in our own state at the Women's Marches when it seemed they outdrew our March for Life every year in all three years.  What gives?  (Of course, I have one of the most liberal legislators pushing for baby murder representing me.)  In fact, this year, our politicians were not at our rally as they were at a celebration that has cost me $10,000, my car, my college ring, my dignity, and even forcing me to wear symbols of the enemy, even signing my checks in enemy colours.

Hirono and The Bay Area Giant.  Our annual March for Life has the Knights of Columbus helping us lead the event, as I've noticed for all 22 years I've been associated with the movement.  But two Senators representing elite enclaves (Honolulu and San Francisco) decided to attack President Trump's nominees for judicial positions over being members of the Knights.  And yet there's also a "Personhood" legislator in our state that denounced the March for Life because the majority of marchers for being Catholic.  They know that they could not have won Roe, Doe, Windsor, Obergefell, Lawrence, or other major leftist victories without their judges.  They fear their arrogance is overturned by common sense of the people.

25 Years of Holly.  Former journalist Holly Gatling has led our state's National Right to Life Committee chapter for the past 25 years.  This year, in fact, the National Right to Life Convention is being held near the Charleston airport in celebration of her 25 years.  Attorney General Alan Wilson held a mock trial to celebrate her 25 years at our annual banquet.

The New York City-State.  Sen. Dirksen's warning of the city-state holds true.  New York City is its own city-state (actually three states in the Senate) but they singlehandedly passed a law that makes baby murder legal through all nine months, decriminalises baby murder, and more.  Gov. Cuomo then lit up the Freedom Tower in pink to celebrate -- but why are we celebrating this?  I've seen this month every ugly celebration being done on every New York building with the celebration that cost me everything above.  The Founding Fathers would be angry at seeing one city dominance.  One NFL  player in anger responded, "It is a sad and evil day when the murder of our most innocent and vulnerable is celebrated with such overwhelming exuberance."

Covington.  The attacks on parochial school are sad but a byproduct of today's humanist education.  In some ways I wish my parents never pulled me out of The City based on stereotypes.  I learned the hard way parochial school was the best because everyone was respected based on the standards of God's Word, not as the old Don Koch and Mark Harris song said, "the newest rage is to reason it out" and "man is a god and God is no longer alive".  Those that attack the Catholic school students have no respect of those who are in parochial education.  Of course, considering Stephani Germanotta's attack on Vice-President Pence as she has worked to advance propaganda, what do you expect from those that attack Biblical worldviews?  Now we hear one of the parties that tried to attack the Catholics tried to crash a mass.

Having been the victim of too many aggressors who lied about me and wanted me dead in classic Saul Alinsky style, I sympathise with the students.  National Review has an article about the lying "MSM" attacking.
You Attack Them Because Many are Catholics?  Notorious Libertarian Party candidate Steve Lefemine, who has pushed for a Personhood Bill in our state legislature, has blatantly attacked the local March for Life because Catholics are involved, even though Protestants are just as involved in the rally as Catholics.  This is a petty shame because he has fallen to a trap reminiscent of the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland wars.

Please DO NOT Push Heresy!  A college "praise team" sang at our March for Life, and it was set to karaoke.  As the event ended and we walked back to our cars, that group of vocalists sang some doctrinal malpractice that was heavily offensive -- but sadly, too many churches have failed to see the discerning ear.  The man-centred worldview of the song in question from an Australian Pentecostal NAR-affiliated denomination is troubling.  Maybe I've gone over the top but when you've sung Händel's "Israel in Egypt" and find more in sacred classics of 300 years ago while seeing nothing from modern pop music, and you've paid musicians at recitals in a karaoke world, it is jarring.  But to sing a tunes of a denomination that refuses to answer Biblical truths and ministers that refuse to speak Biblical truth, as Hillsong leaders refuse to condemn sexual perversion or baby murder is a warning to all of us that Albert Mohler stated Beethoven's songs are not suitable for worship because of his pantheism.   Likewise, the affirmation and not calling sin what is sin by this denomination whose songs that college group sang is a serious disturbance.

Mark R. Harris and Donald A. Koch, "The Basics of Life," Universal Music Publishing Group, 1992.

Cameron Buettel and Jeremiah Johnson, "Hillsong & Worship," Grace to You, November 28, 2016. 

The View, October 30, 2017.  American Broadcasting Company. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Eight days were accomplished

La Circoncisione (The Circumcision)- By Tintoretto (1518-1594)
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

-- Luke 2:21
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