Sunday, January 24, 2010

Today's Sports Glossary

Super Bowl, The

An annual event wherein two performance-enhanced teams compete to see who can score the most points in between commercial advertisements of costly yet dubious quality. Known more for "entertainment" involving "wardrobe malfunctions" during half-time than for the actual game.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Ushering in the holiday season last month, my extended family participated in a creche exhibit/concert series for the Simi Stake. We called ourselves "The Kindred Carolers," and we may have a return engagement this year if they get desperate enough or have very short memories. Anyway, Cameron links to a duet that we did (following a solo effort by yours truly) that was actually quite fun. We haven't sung together for about 20 years. In my own defense, I will only say that I was trying to ward off a very nasty case of bronchitis, and hadn't quite recovered my full upper register when we performed this in early December.

If you're feeling adventurous, scroll to the bottom of his post and check the video. There are others if you care to hear the whole family in action. We had a good time, all things considered.

Miracle? In Massachusetts? Hardly.

I've been reading with interest the bloggy reactions to Scott Brown's unprecedented win today, and I have to say: Don't over-do it, folks.

Scott Brown is, except for a few pithy quotes that you'd never have heard from a Democrat, largely an unknown quantity. Folks in Massachusetts may know this guy, but the rest of us are waiting to see what he does once he occupies the "Peoples' Seat."

It is nice to know that we have that critical 41st vote available, but of course that only applies when the rest of the senators on that side of the aisle actually act like Republicans. With Snowe, Collins, and Voinovich still in control of 3 of those votes, heaven only knows when all 41 will work in lock-step on the really important issues. We're still not convinced that Voinovich, for example, will hold to his stated intent to vote against Obamacare when the next opportunity arises.

Also, as my brother so eloquently puts it, the GOP has a fairly predictive pattern of screwing up every advantage they ever gain in Congress. In other words, we ain't holdin' our breath.

The fact is, Brown's election is just one step toward a much-needed reform of the GOP. If Brown can deliver on the promise, that's all to the good. From statements made by Barney Frank, Jim Webb and others, it may already have the effect of making legislators take a deep breath and admit that perhaps they've been a bit hasty in ramrodding this health care fiasco down our taxpaying throats. Too bad this comes too late to do the same for the "stimulus."

Now it remains to be seen whether the GOP can capitalize on voter unrest in the independent and moderate Democrat ranks in the November elections this year, and put a few more right/center-right fannies in more of the Peoples' seats. If they can, just please promise me that we won't have any of that Contract On America nonsense that torpedoed us back in the good ol' days.

That means, of course, that Michael Steele must go. Quickly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Won't Win California.

The GOP will screw it up, even with all momentum Scott Brown's win has just given us. On that note, Happy Celebrating!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Have No Fear

So, with one exception my blogs have been more or less dormant for the past two months. Illness and the holiday season are the obvious reasons. Yet there's also been a metamorphosis of thought and feeling during this period. I'd hate to say that my recent bout with bronchitis (or, as I suspect, perhaps even walking pneumonia) made me somehow more introspective, but it's at least a possibility.

As with most conservatives, I've spent the better part of this year of Hope and Change hoping that change wouldn't come about too quickly, but fearing tremendously that it would. With liberal thought firmly in control of two branches of government it seemed a foregone conclusion that radical legislation would be enacted as quickly as possible while they still have the keys to the family car. And it's been true. 2009 saw the passage of a wildly irresponsible "stimulus" package that didn't stimulate anything but Congress' express desire to enact even more irresponsible (and even reckless legislation) in the guise of health care "reform."

Most troubling of all is the speed with which these acts have been committed. There is not one single member of Congress that can look America in the eye and declare that 1) they have read and fully comprehend the health care bill that their respective chamber passed last year and 2) that it will do everything that it is purported and has been told to America that it will do. Of course, there are many of us that are fearful that it will do everything it's purported to do. It has nothing at all to do with my being a huge fan of the health care "industry" as currently defined by our legislators. It has everything to do with my hard-earned understanding that everything the government administers, it ruins. Everything. Even Social Security is unlikely to be running as smoothly and efficiently as it probably could be given the fact that it is a government-administered program.

Given the government's track record on welfare, education, housing, transportation security, border security, and budget management, I find it highly improbable that they will have any better results with the administration of health care in this country. I do believe that our health care system will go the way of Canada and other socialized nations with outlandish waiting lists, fewer qualified doctors in highly specialized areas of medicine, and overall increased costs of medical care. Whether or not we have to pay those costs up front is immaterial: as taxpayers we will pay in the end.

I've had my share of restless, even sleepless nights this past year thinking about all of this. It makes absolutely no sense for Congress to be in such an all-fired hurry to do this. It would be far more prudent to take their time and get it right, rather than ramrod it down our throats with cries of "people are dying every day" by way of scaring us into submission. Well, guess what — people will be dying even after it is implemented and, perhaps, may die at a faster rate than before. Because one thing we've noticed about government-run programs: they always seem to exacerbate whatever problems they were designed to fix. Has the stimulus solved whatever problems got us into this mess in the first place? It has not. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still issuing high-risk loans to people who cannot now and possibly never will be able to afford a house, and we will be required to pay for these people for the rest of our natural lives. Way to go, Congress!

I needed to say these things in order to clarify my next statement: I'm no longer all that worried about any of this. My opinions of what has happened and what will likely happen this year have not changed one iota. I still believe the Democrats and their Republican enablers in Congress are rushing headlong into turning us into just another socialized country among so many others in the world today. May as well join the European Union while we're at it. I firmly believe that between the stimulus and health care legislation we will find ourselves giving up more and more of our precious constitutional rights because the government will be in control of two things that make it possible for us to grow individually: our health and our money.

So why do I not fear as I did this time a year ago? Simply because we are Americans and there is one precious right they have not undertaken to cripple: my freedom to think and believe as I choose. So long as I enjoy this most basic of freedoms, I can survive this congressional tomfoolery. While I have the ability to raise my heart and voice in prayer to God, I have assurance that all will be well with my house. "Well" is, of course, a relative term, and I can only hope that we don't get seriously ill once the government controls our access to the care we need. But one thing the government cannot and will never control is my spirit.

Even if we were to assume the worst and find that the government had imposed itself into our public worship, we have the lessons of history to guide us. The year 1987, for example, reminds us that any wall, no matter how well constructed or what its intended purpose, can be torn down. The American Revolution teaches us that people, even those who are reluctant to do so, can join together and defend themselves from assaults on their God-given rights. Congress would do well to remember that had King George III ever relented and admitted that his colonies deserved the full rights and representation as his subjects in England, the outcome of the Revolution might have been very different. They would do even better to remember what happened to His Majesty's empire because he refused to do so.

Laws that are enacted by men can be undone by men. We've seen this time and time again. Granted, it's harder to do so once those laws have become entrenched in the fabric of our society, but it can be done. All it takes is the election of men and women that have the courage to foment true reform of the government and return that government to its constitutional limits. I know I make that sound far more simple than reality might otherwise dictate, but it's true nonetheless. We need to find courageous people to counteract the cowardice that permeates our Congress today. Find them, elect them, and hold them accountable for their actions in office.

Finally, as a spiritual creature, I of course turn to God and the church to guide my thinking. As a Latter-day Saint, I have the unique privilege of having a living prophet on the earth today. That prophet has not told me to live in fear of health care reform or despair of our becoming a second-rate power among the nations of the earth. He has told me to be prepared for an uncertain future, as his predecessors have also done for many, many years now. He has told me to make myself right with God, confess my sins, and live worthy of His blessings. So long as I do this, President Obama and his cronies in Congress can do whatever they will. Their (and my) day of accountability will come, sooner or later, and many will be found lacking.

I just pray that I won't.