November 11

Even as a child I was fascinated by the idea of “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” As Eliot wrote, it all ended “not with a bang, but a whimper.”

The Great War. The World War. The First World War. And now, since 1939, the constant war.


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Christmas Day

This is our first Christmas since 1989 that our son isn’t with us. He was born in February 1990 and each Christmas since then has been defined by the presence of him and (since 1997) his sister. This year he is away at university in Europe. He is not in the service, not in danger and yet our longing for him today is deep and visceral.

Children, even when they are grown, have a huge emotional pull on us. I miss you son. I pine for August.

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I am a Christian and I have never felt any reason to hide that fact. Many on the Left these days have made it an article of their secular “faith” to denigrate and abuse Christianity and its adherents for reasons I truly cannot understand. They pounce all over any criticism of any other faith and term it Islamaphobia or anti-Semitism, and with this I agree. But they (the Left) have deemed an “open season” any and all criticism of Christians and Christianity as “fair comment”.

I do not push my faith on others, as do some other religions. I do not insist that you be a Christian, nor does it bother me in the least if your faith lies in another tradition. I am not even bothered Atheism. Freedom of conscience must be absolute! But I insist the same attitude from you. When other faiths arrest Christians, kill Christians, and speak openly in disparagement of Christianity, I take offense. And I will say so openly and repeatedly.

If you are also a Christian, I wish you a wonderful Easter season and I urge you to meditate on the gift of faith and thank God for it! If you are not a Christian, enjoy your weekend.

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What a Tangled Web We Weave…..

By now everyone in the nations seems to have drawn a line in the sand over the death of the black Florida teenager, shot by a “neighborhood watch” volunteer. At the same time, no one, and I mean no one seems the least interested in the facts of the case, whatever they are. Those who believe the young man was murdered are ready to “lynch” the perpetrator. Those who have decided that the shooting was justified are ready to release him from suspicion without further investigation. Into the mix add a large dollop of partisan politics, race-baiting, and pure ignorance. Most bothersome is that most of the news services have taken sides already, not to mention the celebrities who have done stupid things like listing the suspects home address on the internet.

Now is the time for our political leadership to defuse this situation, now, before someone else is killed. Instead we get silence, silence from Washington, silence from state authorities and, worst of all, calls for violence from race-based organizations and black civil rights spokespersons. All in all it is a stupendous mess, one made worse by people who should know better.

Where is leadership? Where is reason? Where is the man willing to wait for justice to be served?

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Primary or Secondary?

We have a multitude of “primary elections” in the U.S., the winner of which is “elected” to nothing at all. He or she is merely trolling for delegates to one of the two major party conventions in the summer of 2012, months away. Campaigning for these delegates has been going on for more than eighteen months now, and the sham “elections” have begun. Iowa is first, with a “caucus.” Then comes New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. The press follows these things like they actually mean something. I don’t think they do, but then again I am a mere citizen. In my state, Georgia, the “election” is scheduled for March 6, which is charmingly called “Super Tuesday” since several other states will also hold “elections” that day.

The sitting president, being immune from losing his position, doesn’t take part in these tawdry things, unless he is a lame duck. The current occupant of the White House may be “lame,” but he is no duck. That leaves the opposition party, this year the Republicans, an open field with which to bore us all to distraction. The principal beneficiaries of these “elections” are the various media outlets which charge millions of dollars to run incessant political advertisements touting the many candidates. Mr. Romney alone is said to have dropped in excess of $16 million in Florida alone last week. Such bounty for the TV and radio stations! Maybe one of their semi-literate reporters will receive a raise in pay.

Like “peach picking rime in Georgia” primary election season comes regularly and inexorably. By next November, when the actual election is held, most Americans will be thoroughly sick of the whole thing.

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Winter’s Discontent

The politician’s are in town, or will be. Already they have inundated Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida with their phone calls, their speeches, their mailers, their…nonsense. I mean really. We hold presidential election once in four years, but as soon as one president is elected there is a line of potential presidents forming the next morning so that we are constantly in election mode, and I for one am really, really tired of the whole thing.

Therefore, I suggest we go about the business of naming a King (or a Queen; I am not sexist.) Let that person be “Head of State.” Then let us scrap that part of the Constitution which creates a congress and let’s go with a parliament which, through its own rules, names a Prime Minister as Head of Government. Parliament will consist of a House of Representatives and a Senate (if we must have a senate; I am not convinced).. Let the House name the PM from among its members. Let the Senate do such useful things as open new supermarkets and name highways after great men and women. Let them all be elected for a five year term with only ONE chance at re-election. No more than ten years for anyone.

We’ll keep the Supreme Court, at least for now. Perhaps the Senate could name their members.They too wouild serve for five year terms, with only on reppointment allowed.

There; you have the three branches. Now, who will be king (or queen)?

I propose a lottery made up of the names of all citizens over the age of twenty-one. Upon the death of the king (or queen) another lottery would be held. The king’s (or queen’s) powers would be limited to those now held by the British monarchs, that is to say, none. They would merely be head of state and welcome such other heads of state and speak at various dinners. They could also attend the Super Bowl. Period.

What do you think?

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I am thankful for the smell of a wood burning fireplace on a cold evening, and for the pot of chili that is bubbling in the kitchen. I am thankful I had a father who loved me, cared for me, and would have beaten the hell out of anyone who abused me (thanks Dad.) I am thankful for first cousins, and for long walks in the Georgia woods on a bright Thanksgiving afternoon and maybe a game of football in the front yard (thanks Bill, Mark, Dody, Gene, Mike, Susan, David, Bobby…all of you). I am thankful to have a job when so many people do not, and to have a warm home, a decent car, a loving son and daughter, and a wife far better than I ever deserved. I am thankful for a mother who made me read ten books every summer when I was in grade school, which had the effect of making me a life long lover of good books. Might not have worked for you, but it did for me. Come to think of it, I am thankful I was a kid at a time when you played football or baseball in the front yard and not in front of a screen. I am thankful for my twenty-one year old son who teaches me something new every day and for my fourteen year old daughter who is still okay with telling me she loves me. I am thankful for the aroma of cornbread dressing baking in the oven and for the first taste of cranberry sauce. I am thankful for iced tea and home-made biscuits. I am thankful for politicians who do it for public service and not for personal enrichment. I am thankful for laws that regulate us in a meaningful way and for men and women who protest loudly against laws that have the opposite purpose. I am thankful for freedom and for the young men who, for two hundred and thirty-five years have made it possible through their personal sacrifice for me to “breathe free.” I am thankful for the sound of the newspaper hitting the front porch. And I am thankful for you, wherever you are. Selah.


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