We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Heading forMount Snow now, with an Alberta Clipper on the way promising another load of fresh powder in a few hours. Mount Snow is the best mountain south of Killington but, due to its location in southern VT, it tends to get crowded with New Yorkers on weekends.
Theodore Roosevelt speaking from his porch at Sagamore Hill, 1916. The man could talk...and talk and talk. People who travelled and camped with him said he would never shut up, but he was a great storyteller.
Michael Horton discusses the messianic complex "of shifting the focus of Christians from his promised return to your best life now." Is it the job of the church, and of Christians, to save the world or to save souls? Or both? A quote:
...the New Testament does not offer a single exhortation to Christianize politics, the arts and sciences, education, or any other common grace field of endeavor.
Of course, Christians will bring their worldview and values to their secular callings. Instead of simply working for the weekend out of pure self-interest, believers should choose and fulfill their vocation as a way of best loving and serving their neighbor. What the church does for those who are of the household of faith is different from what individual Christians do as neighbors in the world.
Where we might hope for triumphant calls to "redeem culture," the New Testament epistles offer comparatively boring yet crucial exhortations to respect and pray for those in authority, to treat employers and employees well, and to be faithful parents and children. We are called "to increase more and more" in godliness through the ordinary means of grace in the church. And in our secular vocations we are called to "aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside and that you may lack nothing" (1 Thes 4:10-12).
He also provides a fine summary of the history of social activism in evangelical Christianity. Read the whole thing. (h/t, MouseNaround)
What does a very aged multi-billionaire do after he spends $25 million dollars to force a presidential election his way, and still falls flat on his face? Well, of course, he tries and tries again.
From an essay on freedom in the Nanny State, at Pajamas:
“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
If some of the greats from American history, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln, were to magically appear before us today, I think they would be shocked at how the country they fought to shape and mold as a beacon of freedom and hope has turned out.
These men, along with their contemporaries, believed in a country where you had the freedom to use the abilities you were born with, bestowed upon you by a higher being, to choose your own destiny — be it where you live, how you earn your keep, and whom you associate with. They believed in a country where citizens are free of interference from government, except in cases where said government protects its citizens from foreign invasion, provides basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and deals with those who break laws intended to protect the basic rights of all citizens (e.g., punishing burglars, murderers, etc.).
The stage is exactly three inches and a galaxy away from the dance floor. Dance? Please. Stumble around with a woman that ain't your wife, I think. I like the old dude that looks like Batman's butler or a fruity sort of baron or something that conducts or sways or whatever it is he's doing. He's possessed with it, same as me. He's usually possessed of plenty of cake, a desire to buy a man a drink, and an aversion to arithmetic, too. The waitresses adore that.
The curtain is dirty from wiping your hands on it. Me included. It's dirty like life is. Up high, it's dirty with cobwebs and dust and corruption because you can't reach up there. Down low it's dirty with the grubby hands of all of us trying to wipe off the sweat and grease of what you're doing.
I listen for the cornshucks of the brushes on the snare. He hits it, but I don't care about that. In between -- the faint circular sketching he does without thinking -- that's what I'm after. He's lathering the dry face of the song so I can shave it with the sharp edge of the brass. The bass rumbles like thunder in the distance.
I can taste metal and blood and booze in my mouth. Tastes like life.
Over many years, the man has been an inspiration through his fiction-writing, his non-fiction, his sailing, his piano-playing, his passion for Bach, his passion for God, his love of life and of freedom and and of his fellow man. And his love for his remarkable wife Pat, who died last year.
Yes, also for his cheerful political energy and pioneering efforts on behalf of Conservative views (he, seemingly single-handedly, made these views respectable), but these efforts were always lower on his list than devotion to God and living - and enjoying - life to the max. A superb human and a superb life.
I am most grateful for the things this brainy, witty, refined and joyful Scotch-loving Connecticut Yankee added to my life, but what I will remember most vividly is his description, in one of his sailing books, of his successful effort to install a piano in the parlor of his sailboat.
We hate to kick a man when he's down, but this summary of Hillary Clinton's record came in over the transom today. We suspect this has something to do with why she is not finding the support she desires:
Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most qualified candidate for president based on her 'record,' which she says includes her eight years in the White House as First Lady - or 'co-president' - and her seven years in the Senate. Here is a little reminder of what that record includes:
As First Lady, Hillary assumed authority over Health Care Reform, a process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both Bill Bradley and Patrick Moynihan, key votes needed to pass her legislation, that she would 'demonize' anyone who opposed it. But it was opposed; she couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own party. (And in the next election, her party lost control of both the House and Senate.) -
Hillary assumed authority over selecting a female Attorney General. Her first two recommendations, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, were forced to withdraw their names from consideration. She then chose Janet Reno. Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as 'my worst mistake.'
Hillary recommended Lani Guanier for head of the Civil Rights Commission. When Guanier's radical views became known, her name had to be withdrawn.
Hillary recommended her former law partners, Web Hubbell, Vince Foster, and William Kennedy for positions in the Justice Department, White House staff, and the Treasury, respectively. Hubbell was later imprisoned, Foster committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.
Hillary also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig Livingstone, for the position of director of White House Security. When Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900 FBI files of Clinton enemies (“Filegate”) and the widespread use of drugs by White House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him. FBI agent Dennis Sculimbrene confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 1996 both the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring Livingstone. After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office, after serving seven presidents for over thirty years.
In order to open “slots” in the White House for her friends the Thomasons (to whom millions of dollars in travel contracts could be awarded), Hillary had the entire staff of the White House Travel Office fired; they were reported to the FBI for 'gross mismanagement' and their reputations ruined. After a thirty-month investigation, only one, Billy Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White House funds when he cashed checks. The jury acquitted him in less than two hours.
Another of Hillary's assumed duties was directing the 'bimbo eruption squad' and scandal defense:
---- She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit. ---- She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs. ---- Then they had to settle with Paula Jones after all.---- And Bill lost his law license for lying to the grand jury ---- And Bill was impeached by the House. ---- And Hillary almost got herself indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice (she avoided it mostly because she repeated, 'I do not recall,' 'I have no recollection,' and 'I don't know' 56 times under oath).
Hillary wrote 'It Takes a Village,' demonstrating her Socialist viewpoint.
Hillary decided to seek election to the Senate in a state she had never lived in. Her husband pardoned FALN terrorists in order to get Latino support and the New Square Hassidim to get Jewish support. Hillary also had Bill pardon her brother's clients, for a small fee, to get financial support.
Then Hillary left the White House, but later had to return $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork she had stolen.
In the campaign for the Senate, Hillary played the 'woman card' by portraying her opponent (Lazio) as a bully picking on her.
Hillary's husband further protected her by asking the National Archives to withhold from the public until 2012 many records of their time in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and her calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of those records.)
As the junior Senator from New York, Hillary has passed no major legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to tend to the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical problems of workers involved in the cleanup of Ground Zero after 9/11.
Hillary's one notable vote; supporting the plan to invade Iraq, has since been disavowed.