Saturday, September 26, 2009


Put in your earbuds, turn up the volume, and read on...

So imagine this:

You and some close friends, all of whom are musicians, make plans to go out
one evening to enjoy a fancy dinner at a local white-tablecloth establishment,
and then to head to the jazz district to listen to some great music. The dinner
was outstanding: The food was perfect, the wine was sublime, and the conversation
was interesting and spirited, and you - dressed for the occasion in your best
casual-yet-stylish attire - have a warm and cheerful contentment wash over you
as you and your party sip coffee with desert...

A short bit later, you all arrive at the jazz club and take the table reserved
for you near the stage: The place is full, and you watch the band getting ready
to start its second set; as the waitress brings you your drinks (yours is a
smooth Sambuca, perfect for after dinner), the band leader steps up to the mic
and greets the crowd: "Good evening folks... Thanks for coming out tonight...
We're [some band name] in from Atlanta... We'll be here through Thursday
of this week, so come back again and see us... We hope you enjoy the music."

Now, picturing yourself in that scene, play these tunes

    Jeff Lorber
    Don't Hold Back
    from the recording, "Heard That"

    Brian Culbertson
    Always Remember
    from the recording, "Bring Back the Funk"

    Wayman Tisdale
    In The Zone
    from the recording, "Best of Wayman Tisdale"

Having heard these great tunes, how can you NOT TAP ya FOOT when you
listen to these contemporary jazz artists?

As a Christian, I believe that ALL Goodness and Truth and Beauty is a revelation
of God Himself, who is -- together with His Son, Jesus Christ, and His omnnipresent
Holy Spirit -- the very essence of Goodness Truth and Beauty. Jazz is music that
lifts the spirit and brightens the eyes as you appreciate the precision of its
syncopation, the inter-play of its harmonies and melodies, and the playfulness of
its improvisation.

I think God smiles at me when I smile as I listen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No, I have not read the Plan

I was at an outdoor event over the weekend and an Obama supporter
came up to me clutching a clipboard and asking me to sign a petition
to help promote Obamacare... As soon as I saw her Obama sticker,
I blurted out, "NO Obamacare!" Somewhat taken aback by my forthrightness,
she asked me, "Have you read the plan?"

"Absolutely not", I said, to which she replied, "Don't you think
everyone should have health coverage? Do you want your health care
costs to continue to rise? Don't you think the current system is
broken?" My answer was the same to all three questions: "Who says
the GOVERNMENT should address these concerns? The LAST people on
the planet to whom we should turn on health care is THIS president,
and THIS Congress, and at THIS time in history. When SANITY and
Sound Judgment have returned to D.C., and when world markets have
stabilized, and when we have Tort reform, and when we finally have
fiscal Accountability curtailing Big Government and its Big Checkbook,
then and only then MAYBE we can CAREFULLY and THOUGHTFULLY
address Health Care. But not one blessed moment sooner."

She apparently wasn't prepared to hear anything but glowing affirmation
for her efforts that day, because she quickly moved away to someone else.

To the criticism that I cannot criticize Obama's health care plan
unless I've read it, I have this simple reply: If the town drunk
came to the town council with a plan to clean up the city, would he
get a hearing? If a local gang approached the town's police chief
with a plan to reduce the crime rate in the area, would they be
taken seriously at all? Well the answer is obvious (or at least it
should be): NO, because they have no credibility.

I have not read one solitary sentence of Obamacare, and I won't, for
the same reason: With his trillion-dollar spending (much of which has
simply VANISHED, according to the CBO) and with his radical
left-wing, socialist/communist associations, and a number of other
very disturbing Realities about Barack Obama, I don't HAVE to read
his plan, because he has no credibility.

And the glazed-eyed, infatuated-cheerleader, Obama Zombie Effect (OZE)
has dulled the minds of quite a few whose comments appear in the media
(and surely many that don't)... Former president Carter calls
anyone who opposes Obamacare a "racist"??? And how about this one:
Julian Epstein, former Democratic counsel to the House Judiciary Committee,
said the Obamacare requirement for every person to carry health
coverage -- or be FINED! -- is no different from requirements to obtain
auto insurance. "It's called personal responsibility," he said.

Does he not see the dissimilarity there? You can just NOT drive, if you
don't have car insurance, and there is no FINE; but you can't stop being
YOU, and if you don't PAY for some Plan, you're FINED (starting at $750).

Seems like anybody even remotely connected to Obama these days has gone
completely off the rails, saying and doing things that has the average
sensible Voter (and TAX PAYER) out in the streets scratching our heads
and saying "HUH???"

These sure are some Looney-Tunes times we're living in!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some thoughts on Abortion

Certainly one of the most divisive issues in modern times, abortion needs very little
introduction; this post is an attempt to address the weaknesses of some typical
pro-abortion positions on the subject. The Pro-Life position is pretty clear:
The life of a child, a unique human individual, begins at conception, when brand-new
DNA is established and the first evidences of a Baby become apparent... By the time
a woman and her doctor discover that she is pregnant, this new child already has the
foundations of a brain, a spinal cord, and a nervous system; the baby's heart is
also beating. This, it would seem clear, is a distinct, unique, individual
Human Being.

The pro-abortion proponents would argue otherwise; but how strong
are their typical arguments?

The LEGAL aspect

This is perhaps the weakest argument the pro-Abortion people toss out there:
Ever since "Roe vs. Wade" in 1973 -- in which the Supreme Court had neither
the authority nor the qualifications to rule as it did, and has therefore been
deemed by many legal experts as "bad law" -- the abortionists have insisted that
this "choice" is their legal, "constitutional" right... Well not only was it a
flimsy legal decision, but consider the broader perspective on the "legal" angle:
It was not that long ago when it was "legal" for a diner to serve only "whites",
or to have "whites only" restrooms, or for "black" people to have to take a seat
at the back of a bus; but enough people expressed enough moral outrage for a long
enough period of time, so that the courts were impacted and the laws were changed,
and what was once "legal" became illegal. So hiding behind the skirts of
a very weak Supreme Court ruling does nothing to strengthen their case, since Law is
established by people and can be changed based on their collective will.

A quick word about "viability": A "viable" fetus is supposedly one that could
potentially survive outside the womb of the mother, one that is not completely
dependent on her body for its own survival; but here again, could we not easily
list MANY situations in which other people are not "viable"? Is a person on
life support "viable", by this definition? And truthfully, when have we EVER heard
of a woman who was determined to abort her child but changed her mind when
her doctor demonstrated to her that her baby WAS in fact "viable"? This is a
smoke-screen, merely a legal word used to try to sterilize a life-destroying act...

The CHOICE aspect

The basic premise here is that a woman's body -- and more broadly, her reproductive
decisions -- is a very private matter between herself and her doctor (and, rarely,
the biological father), and that the government has no business at all telling a
woman what she can or cannot do with her body... But the weakness in this argument
is also easily seen: If "choice" is the primary consideration in highly
personal medical and family matters, why limit it only to pregnancy?

What if a couple gives birth to a profoundly retarded boy, with grotesque, severe
physical deformities, such that the first year or so of the child's life is utterly
unbearable to the parents, who are drained financially, emotionally, and physically...
What if at the end of that first year they simply CANNOT take it anymore... Should
they have a "choice" to quietly euthanize this boy? Why should the GOVERNMENT have
any business meddling with their highly personal medical/family matter??
If "choice" is the PRIMARY consideration (and the pro-Abortion people try
to pitch "freedom of choice" as some sorth of soothing, "who-wouldn't-want-that?"
type position), then why should it be limited to one side of the birth canal
and not the other? How DARE anyone who supports a "choice" to destroy a little boy
or girl turn around and tell this couple they cannot "choose" to arrange their
lives in a similar fashion and for similar reasons??


This is the only real argument anybody should ever be having about abortion:
Is the fetus a HUMAN BEING -- a PERSON -- or not? Because if it is a Person, then
plain common sense will read the Constitution as guaranteeing Life as an
inalienable Right, protecting that Person, and the "choice" to destroy another
Person seems -- again, as common sense -- to be repugnant to any civilized society.

So how do we define Personhood? The heart beating, as distinct from the mother's?
A unique nervous system? A unique DNA structure? Eyeballs? Hands? Feet?
Genital organs? Brain waves? These are all present very early in the pregnancy.
What about the other end of the timeline: Does a fetus "become" a Person as its
head is in the birth canal? The head out but the torso still in? The whole body
all the way out? Do C-sections count? Accordingly, there is an broad lack of
clarity on the Personhood issue (for some!) and the pro-abortion people most
often REFUSE to address this issue directly: They'd rather scream and kick and
thunderously proclaim their "legal" right to "choose" (again, very weak arguments),
condemning anyone who sees the fetus as a PERSON. It is very rare to meet a
pro-abortionist who is willing or even able to walk through these issues calmly
and intelligently; instead they vehemently lash out at anyone who attempts to
confront them with even the slight possibility that this is a Baby, a Child,
a Human Being, a Person... Because if it is, then abortion is murder,
and they know it.

The RADICAL Result

And what we have seen happen in our society since Roe v. Wade has been just the
sort of out-of-control INSANITY that a sensible person might expect from
such a horrible and tragic decision: Millions of abortions every year,
mostly for the convenience of the mother; doctors who are trying to kill the baby
one minute but then are forced by law to try to save the baby if the delivery
happens anyway and the baby is born alive (burns, scars, and other wounds, inflicted
just moments before, notwithstanding)... We even have the pro-abortion clan demanding
it be "legal" for a doctor to cut open a baby's skull and suck out the brains AS IT IS BEING DELIVERED, simply because the mother doesn't want the baby
(the so-called "partial-birth abortion")... It doesn't take very long to go down the
slippery slope of "a few" abortions to "many" to "hell-bent on destroying babies
any time, anywhere we choose
"... Indeed, stories of complete and radical disregard
for human life, like this one, are a predictable result of the pro-abortion agenda.

I continue to be dumbfounded that any seemingly sane, seemingly civilized adult
would actually believe that it should be "legal" and acceptable to KILL the Unborn,
the most innocent and vulnerable Persons on the planet. Perhaps I should say,
instead, "dumbfounded" only to a point, because I agree with the Bible when it says
that "the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things".
I take solace in the fact that murdered Babies go straight into the arms of a Father
who loves them perfectly and eternally, and with Whom they will be safe forever;
and I tremble a bit as I consider the fearsome Judgment that God will pass on those
who commit these murders as well as those who help others do so.

May God help all of us, in all areas of our lives, to approach Him with our faces
to the ground, willing and honest enough to know and do His will.