Happy Thanksgiving, A.D. 2018

Why at the hell on earth or in hell are e you here today, or anywhere else on the internet? Today is Thanksgiving Day, when you get a day off from the day’s news and a rare chance to reflect on all the rest of it, for which you can mostly be thankful for to God.
Better you should eat some turkey and drink some wine and be merry. for tomorrow we might die, as the Good Book suggests. Embrace yourself in the warmth of family and friends, and go ahead and watch some football if you’re so inclined. Tomorrow brings another dark and cold and dreary business day until the Christmas celebration of Christ’s birth, and we’ll be back on the glum job of noting it, yet no matter what comes in the next year this is as good a time as ever to be thankful for the best of life on God’s blessed Earth.
To all those who drop in even on days like today, we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and a happy whatever other holiday your might celebrate at this otherwise miserable time of year.

— Bud Norman

God on the Left

God was back in the news this week, and even for those of us who believe He is omnipresent He was popping up in some unexpected places.
The Almighty made a few cameo appearances, for instance, at the presidential inaugural. This will come as no surprise to those who believe that President Barack Obama is the Almighty, but more skeptical observers such as ourselves were startled to hear God mentioned so often during the inaugural address. Obama modestly credited God with the gift of our freedom, but added that “It must be secured by His people here on earth,” and he apparently had it on the highest authority that this could only be achieved by full implementation of the Obama agenda. He then implored the country that “a little girl born into the bleakest poverty” should know that “she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own,” and given the increased numbers of little girls in poverty since Obama’s first inauguration the plea seems especially urgent. Obama also said that his oath was to “God and country,” and ended with the traditional presidential request that God bless America, but God’s most prominent appearance came when the president claimed that his “green jobs” program “is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.”
Nobody in attendance booed any of the mentions of God, as they did at the Democratic National Convention that nominated Obama, but the president’s decidedly secular base of support must have felt a bit uncomfortable. Several of the more ardent Obama fans of our acquaintance have assured us such talk is merely shtick intended for the rubes, that the president is far too smart to really believe any of that God nonsense, and such prominent supporters as the professional blasphemer Bill Maher have said the same thing, but these same people were fashionably insouciant about the president’s “spiritual mentor” bellowing a plea for God’s damnation on America. We do not claim to know Obama’s true religious beliefs, but we suspect he does believe he has God’s blessing for his hugely expensive and disastrously ineffective “green” boondoggles. With science offering little support for Obama’s claims about climate change causing “the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms,” he will have to find a more persuasive argument in theology.
We have lately come to think of California as the most godforsaken place in the union, but God also made an appearance in the gubernatorial inauguration there. He even got a co-starring role along with Montaigne and Yeats in the oration by Gov. Jerry Brown, who re-told the Genesis story of Pharaoh’s dream of seven cows and Joseph’s sage interpretation that Egypt should set aside a portion of the coming seven harvests for the subsequent seven years of famine. California is currently flush with cash from the recent soak-the-rich tax hike that “Gov. Moonbeam” championed, and will be back to yearly deficits just as soon as the state’s last remaining rich people can re-locate to Texas or Florida or some other temperate and income-tax-free jurisdiction, so Californians would be wise to heed this ancient Hebrew financial advice, but we doubt that the free-spending Democrats of the Assembly will be persuaded by some Old Testament scripture.
God also weighed in on the gun control debate, in form of the National Cathedral’s Very Rev. Gary Hall, and it turns out He does not approve of the Second Amendment. Hall offered a statement to that effect at a press conference for Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a state that is apparently in the grips of a full blown religious mania, as she unveiled her unprecedent gun-grabbing bill. This should be sufficient to keep the secularists from objecting to the very existence of a National Cathedral, which does seem slightly antithetical to the First Amendment’s prohibition of any law respecting an establishment of religion, and we expect that the anti-gun nuts won’t object to having God along so long as He’s on the right side of the issue. Any ministers who cite Jesus’ admonition to the apostles that “he that has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” should expect to be chided for dragging God into the matter.
There is something satisfying about hearing people on the Left acknowledge God’s existence, and we hope that to whatever extent their beliefs are sincere they will be enriched by religion in their personal lives, but we’d hate to see them gain any political advantage by claiming God’s endorsement. The left is bossy enough in its cocksure belief that they’re bringing heaven to earth, and if they got it in their heads that they’re also bringing social justice to heaven it would be unbearable. We close with the words of C.S. Lewis, who looked deeper into the wisdom of God’s word than most.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satisfied; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

— Bud Norman

That Awful Speech

A few of the more irrationally enthused pundits have been comparing to Barack Obama’s second inaugural address to Abraham Lincoln’s. They must assume, probably with good reason, that the past many years of high school history classes have not required anyone to read Lincoln’s speech.
Lincoln’s second inaugural address is not just a masterpiece of political oratory but also of English prose, a speech of such simple eloquence and profound wisdom that it inspired a nation in its darkest hour. The Obama effort, on the other hand, was an overwrought and overlong bunch of hooey.
Lincoln forthrightly addressed only the issues that were of overriding importance at the time of his address, but Obama made just passing mention of the issues that most concern the Americans of today. With more Americans out of work than on the day he was first sworn in, and the sluggish economic pace slowing, Obama assured the nation’s unemployed that “Economic recovery has begun.” There was some lofty blather about investing in new technologies, but it seemed to be mostly about the “green energy” program that has already blown billions of dollars with little effect. He offered sympathy and scapegoats rather than solutions by noting that “we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do well and a growing many barely make it,” but if he believes that people have concluded the growing many are barely making it because the shrinking few are doing well he should have corrected that dangerous misunderstanding.
The nation’s debt has grown by 60 percent since Obama’s first inaugural address, and the second inaugural address made no mention of this problem. All that investing Obama wants the government to do will likely be quite expensive, and he also used his speech to engage in some characteristic demagogy against anyone who might suggest changes to the money-guzzling entitlement programs, so the omission seemed conspicuous.
Like Lincoln, Obama spoke of war, but where Lincoln spoke of “the progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends,” Obama simply declared that “a decade of war is now ending.” The speech did not make clear if the war is also ending for America’s numerous declared enemies, who seem to be as deadly as ever lately, or if America will simply be ceasing its efforts, and we would have liked to have had the point clarified. Obama attempted to reassure us neo-con warmongers that “America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the world,” which should provide plenty of action for our shrinking military, and that America will “support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East,” but he did not explain how military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood will further this noble cause.
Most of what Obama did get around to in the speech was primarily of interest to his most doctrinaire admirers. He gave a shout-out to his homosexual voters, promised the ladies that he’d deal with their mythical wage discrimination problem, expressed outrage about all the illegal immigrant engineers that are apparently being “expelled” from the country, and did the usual fretting about the poor folk. Although Obama didn’t dare get so sternly theological as Lincoln did in his second inaugural address, he did make mention of God when going on about climate change. Lincoln was duly humble about evoking God’s name, noting that “The Almighty has His own purposes” and recognizing that he was right only to the extent “as God gives us to see the right,” but Obama was quite confident that God wouldn’t mind being used for the higher purpose of promoting a cap-and-trade boondoggle.
The speech was all wrapped up in red-white-and-blue bunting, complete with approving references to the founding fathers. There was even a line about how Americans “have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all of society’s ills can be solved through government alone,” although it was unclear if this was meant as a compliment or complaint. A recurring theme of the speech was that the Founding Fathers began a journey that will only be completed once the Obama agenda has been fully enacted and “all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hill of Appalachia to the quite lanes of Newtown know they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.” We took that to be a call for stricter gun controls, but we figure it will be a long journey indeed if it only ends when everyone is safe from harm and we hope that we’ll still be allowed to arm ourselves until journey’s end.
There was plenty of the usual highfalutin rhetoric, and although we only read the transcript we assume it was delivered with the usual sonorous baritone and upraised chin, but unless Obama gets all the educational reforms he hoped for it is unlikely that schoolchildren will find anything so rote-worthy as “With malice towards none, with charity toward all.” Obama struck a slightly similar note when he insisted America cannot “treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” but it rang rather hollow after winning his spot on the inaugural stand by slurring his opponent as a tax-cheating, woman-killing, dog-torturing, contraception-snatching square. All in all, we expect that the world will little note nor long remember what Obama said on Inauguration Day.

— Bud Norman

God, Women, and the Democrats

Even with professional football beckoning on another television channel, it’s hard to turn one’s attention away from the Democrats’ national convention. For bruising hits, strange behavior, and bizarre spectacle, even the National Football League can’t compete with the Democrats.

The highlight, thus far, was when a significant number of the assembled delegates booed God. This unprecedented moment in American politics occurred because earlier in the convention party officials had deleted a reference to “God-given rights” from the platform, leaving the document without any mention of the deity. Party poobahs were clearly rattled by the negative reaction from the more pious portions of the population, with Sen. Dick Durbin reacting to an interviewer’s seemingly innocent question about the matter as if the Spanish Inquisition were interrogating him, and they quickly asked the convention delegates to approve an amendment restoring God’s place in the party platform. After three tries God was ruled to have won a voice vote, although the “nays” certainly sounded louder each time and there was much booing, hissing and jeering throughout.

The Democrats can now insist that they officially have nothing against God, although if pressed they’d have to say that He is no Barack Obama, and a couple of subsequent speakers even made a point of mentioning God in what they probably considered a favorable light. Black Congressional Caucus leader Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver delivered a rousing sermon on the goodness, mercy, and bountiful blessings of big government, exhorting the president to “continue to hope,” then adding very specifically that “As long as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sits on the throne of grace, hope on!” A short time earlier the delegates had also contentiously approved a platform amendment restoring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and we assume that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would have approved. Elizabeth Warren, the fake Indian affirmative action scammer and Massachusetts Senate candidate whose self-righteous anger stands out even at a Democratic convention, mentioned her past service as a Sunday school teacher and even recited some New Testament verses proving God is a socialist who hates Republicans, corporations, and religious people as much as she does.

The delegates were also treated to a speech by Sandra Fluke, the 30-year-old Georgetown law school student who demanded that her Catholic university provide her with birth control and became famous when a prominent radio host called her a “slut,” and so far as we can tell there was no mention of God. Fluke’s speech was part of the convention’s emphasis on issues of importance to women. Judging by the Democratic convention one might conclude that women are mostly interested in abortion, birth control, and sexual freedom, but in our unfortunate experience they seem far more interested in their jobs.

In keeping with the theme of how much Democrats love women, the convention followed up its tribute to Ted Kennedy with a much ballyhooed speech by serial sexual harasser and alleged rapist Bill Clinton. The man who gave America the subprime mortgage was called on because of the public’s lingering memories of the good times before the crash, and he spoke about how tough Obama’s had it and how hard he’s tried, but mostly it sounded very much like those trombone sounds that the adults used to make on the “Peanuts” television specials, and by that point the game was getting good.

Today’s big finale has been moved from the gigantic Bank of America Stadium, which had been re-named “Panthers’ Stadium” to avoid any embarrassing association with nasty old bankers, and depending on who’s talking it was either because of a forecast with a slight possibility of rain or a fear that they’d wind up with a lot of un-telegenic empty seats. Either way it was a lucky break for the Carolina Panthers, because they’ll be hard pressed to top the Democrats’ spectacle even if they make it to the Super Bowl.

— Bud Norman