Monday, October 20, 2014

John Wayne Explains It For You

I just watched a movie called "Without Reservations".

Claudette Colbert plays an author who has written a bestseller and is looking for an unknown to cast as the lead.

She runs into John Wayne on a train to Hollywood and is smitten.

She sees him as the protagonist in her "progressive" novel. She comes just short of saying "New World Order".

John Wayne sets her straight.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The next time I'm anxious and can't sleep, I know what to listen to.

Old NFO posted a video of a family pet named "Vito".
When it was done, Youtube suggested many other videos.
This was one.
The "Michigan" motif attracted me.
The video's audio made me want lyrics.
They were hard to hear.
Even harder to read through the tears of joy.
I don't know why this song affected me the way it did.
It totally caught me by surprise.
(Lyrics below courtesy

"Vito's Ordination Song"

I always knew you
In your mothers arms
I have called your name
I've an idea
Placed in your mind
To be a better man
I've made a crown for you
Put it in your room
And when the bride groom comes
There will be noise
There will be glad
And a perfect bed

And when you write a poem
I know the words, I know the sounds
Before you write it down
When you wear your clothes
I wear them too, I wear your shoes
And the jacket too
I always knew you
In your mothers arms
I have called you son
I've made amends
Between father and son
Or if you haven't one

Rest in my arms
Sleep in my bed
There's a design
To what I did and said

Saturday, October 18, 2014

You should listen to this

Bill Bennett is running a program to develop commercials written by ordinary folk that will resonate with voters.

Here's one sample. Commercial one. I like this one a lot.

Here's another: Commercial number two.  Scherie likes it.

She said so. Caught me by surprise again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Some Time Spent With My Dad

My dad passed a few years ago and I spoke at his funeral.
I just recently found the text.
This is it.
I wanted to tell you something that happened with my dad this week.
Dad has been enduring congestive heart failure for five years.

He was diagnosed with it and told to prepare his affairs, for he'd be gone in six months.
He was 76 at the time.

I decided that I'd better spend as much time as I could with him since I wouldn't have a lot of time left with him.

That was five years ago.

His house is about 40 minutes away, so mostly l'd see him on Saturdays when l'd pick him up and we'd have breakfast.
In the first couple of years, he supervised the addition of a couple rooms on the back of my house.
After that, he supervised the roofing and siding of my son Caleb's garage. Then Caleb and I did the siding of Dad's garage. It was during this time that Caleb realized there was money to be made doing this, and started his own construction company.
As time went on, dad slowed down and he and I would go for drives to see old haunts and explore places. My brother Tom would take him places, also.
Once, we went to Historic Ft. Wayne in Detroit. They let us through the gate, even though they
weren't open. We saw stuff the general public never sees. lt was fun.
We went to Belle lsle and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. We also went to the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn.
We went out on his boat (now mine) a few times, but after a while it was too hard on him to bounce around like that.
Before it got too bad, Tom and I took him to his hometown in California, PA and we took Tom's boat so we could go down the Monongahela River with him. At one point, he insisted that one of the Locks (a huge concrete fixture used to hold back the river level to raise and lower boats) must have been moved, as it wasn't where he remembered it being 70 years ago! We rolled our eyes when he asked the lockmaster when the lock had been moved. The lockmaster told us it had been moved in the 60's!
Recently, Dad had really slowed down. No more walking any distance. But he never really looked like one of those old guys you see, all slumped over and shuffling. He did look like one of those old guys you see riding a powered cart in the grocery store.
He beat prostate cancer.
After that, though, last year they found an inoperable tumor between his heart and lung.
Recently he'd been coughing up blood occasionally.

I've been praying for my Dad a lot and so has my wife Scherie, and friends of ours have also.
I've been praying for an assurance of his salvation.
It's something he didn't like to discuss much and it bothered me.
A few months ago, I was talking to his wife Jeanne about it and she brought the subject up with my Dad in front of me.
If she hadn't, I might not have known that Dad had asked Jesus to forgive him. I felt a lot of weight gone, but who can know what's in another man's heart? Why hadn't he brought it up?

I prayed that when he went, it would be painless for him.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was asking God for this and an assurance of his being OK with God.
I felt an answer in my heart, as if to say: He's OK and you'll know it when he goes painlessly.

A couple of days ago my Dad got out of the hospital after a scare put him in for a couple days.
They sent him home to die. His lung was gone with cancer.

That night Scherie, Tom, Jeanne and I had dinner with him at his house. We had a nice visit.
The next day, Thursday, Dad had what was probably a heart attack. Jeanne called us at work and told us to come quick. I picked up Scherie and we went to their house. Dad was just coming around and sitting in his favorite recliner. We talked.

Jeanne's kids came by to visit also and we had pizza delivered. Around 9:30 we left.
The next day, I didn't dress for work (Dickies), but wore dress casual instead.
Around 11 AM I got the call to come back. We went, and Dad was near comatose.
Actually it looked like he was sleeping very soundly.
He was being given morphine every hour, orally.

We sat around talking about Dad, teasing him, even though he didn't respond.
He had always joked after his first scare years ago that when people said he "looked good" that that's what they said when you were in the coffin, too: "He looks good." then he'd cross his hands over his chest and grin.

Randy is one of my step brothers, one of Jeanne's sons. We called Randy's cell phone. He was on vacation in New Orleans, and he flew home in a few hours. We hoped he'd be in time.

Around 5:15, I suggested that we not give Dad his morphine so that he could come around and say goodbye.
He was due more at 5:30. Jeanne said it was OK, if I was prepared to clean up the blood Dad was sure to cough up. I said OK.

At 5:20, Randy came in. Dad really liked Randy so we were glad he was there.

My wife had been praying that Dad would be talking to the Lord and the Lord talking to Dad while he was out. She later told me that she had heard Jeanne urge Dad to talk to the Father, and listen to the Father.
At 5:25 Dad started to stir and blood started to come out of his lips like before, when the morphine was late. I got in close on one side of the chair and my brother Tom got on the other side and we put our arms around him to set him up in the chair better.
Randy and Jimmy held his legs, while we lifted, so they could push him back up erect in the leather chair.

While we held him, I dabbed at the blood. l knew it was time and I said goodbye. Everyone was saying  "We love you, Dad", and "Goodbye Dad".

Dad opened his eyes, looked around the room and left.
It was 5:30 PM.
He peacefully went into the arms of Jesus.

There's not a person who was there that was not impressed with how he did it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Refutation of Homosexual Marriage.

Transcript of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace: video at link
If the transcript bores you, jump to the end.
(Ted Olson argues before the SCOTUS. I wish I'd been able to refute him in person.)
My comments appear like this.

When this week began, same-sex marriage was legal in 19 states. Now, because of the Supreme Court's decision not to review the ruling of several appeals court, same-sex marriage may soon be legal in 25 states.
We want to drill down into the legal status and merits of same sex marriage with two top advocates: leading conservative Ted Olson represented the plaintiffs in the Virginia case, and is co-author of "Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality." Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.
Gentlemen, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday." Mr. Olson, let me start with you. Why do you think the Supreme Court decided not to intervene in these cases, and can we take from that there's now a majority in the court who feels there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage?
TED OLSON, FORMER SOLICITOR GENERAL: No one knows what goes on in the United States Supreme Court when they're deciding to take a case or how they decide the case. But what the Supreme Court was looking at on Monday when it rendered its decision not to review these pending cases is a record of something like 25 federal judges at the district court and at the appeal level which had consistently ruled that same sex marriage bans were unconstitutional.
I think the justices saw was a trend -- overwhelming trend in the same direction and felt that the federal courts were handling this issue in an appropriate and proper way, and decided not to weigh in.
The trend was one of like minded liberal judges! their motto: "constitution be damned"
WALLACE: Mr. Perkins, let me go a little further than Ted Olson, because he has to argue before the court. If the majority felt there was no constitutional right -- actually it takes a minority, only four of the nine justices to decide to review a case -- why would they make a non-ruling in this case which would allow thousands more to have same-sex marriages?
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, I mean, Ted is more of an expert on the Supreme Court. You still have two circuits that have decisions coming up that look favorable toward natural marriage. But I think the effect here is what we need to look. I think the effect of this is the court did a back alley type Roe v. Wade decision by letting the lower courts do their evil bidding. And the result of that is such -- you go back to 1973 when the court imposed abortion on the nation, it was to resolve the issue 41 years later.
That issue is now a political issue in every election from the president on down. This issue is not going away despite what the court may say.
WALLACE: I have to allow you to responds -- back alley Roe versus Wade?
OLSON: Yes, I think the analogy would be to the 1967 decision of the United States Supreme Court that struck down bans on interracial marriage. We now understand and the American public believe that that was a right decision and right for America. Over 59 percent of Americans now believe that marriage equality should be the law of the land. (So he says that the will of the people should be upheld.) Individuals should be allowed to get married to the person that they love.
The individuals involved in these cases have been together for decades. They now want to be a part of the community, and be part of our society by marrying and living with the people that they love.
WALLACE: Let me pick up on one of the central concerns that people have about all of this. In all 16 of the states that because of the Supreme Court's non-decision, may not have say legal same-sex marriage, there was a ban on those same sex marriage, either approved by the state legislature or popular referendum.
Mr. Olson, you have a long record of opposing what you call or people call judicial activism.
Question -- why should judges overrule the demonstrated will of the people either through referenda or through state legislature action?
OLSON: We have a Constitution and Bill of Rights precisely because we want protections from majority rule. When the majority in a legislature or a popular vote take away rights of individuals that are protected by the Bill of Rights, then we have an independent judiciary to rectify that situation. It's happened again and again and again throughout this country's history.
We have an independent judiciary to protect the rights of individuals like gay and lesbian citizens who only want respect, decency and equality along with the rest of us.
So he says that the will of the people should be ignored. 
What is your single, strongest argument against allowing same-sex marriage?
PERKINS: Well, I'd like to ask Ted, what's the purpose of marriage?
OLSON: The purpose of marriage is what the Supreme Court has said 14 times. It's a fundamental right that involves privacy, association, liberty, and being with the person you love and forming a part of the community and being treated equally with the rest of society.
(Where was the question "What is the purpose" answered?)

Now, over, if you look at people under the age of 30, you're talking about a powder keg? People under the age of 30, it's like 80 percent of people agree -- So now the will of the people has value?
PERKINS: That's not true.
OLSON: Well, that is true.
WALLACE: Wait a minute. You answered his question. Now what's your answer to him?
PERKINS: First off, marriage is not to affirm adults. It's for the protection of children. And if love is the only factor, where you do you draw the boundary?
OLSON: Well, what the Supreme Court said in the cases that it decided last year involving the defense of marriage case, striking that down, is that children do matter. There are thousands and tens of thousands of children in same-sex households. They deserve the right to equality and the same respect and decency that other people have that are living right next door --
WALLACE: Mr. Perkins?
PERKINS: Well, we know from the social science that children do best with a mom and a dad. That's why our policies in this country have preferred marriage and given benefits to it.
But let me -- if love is the factor, what boundaries are there?
OLSON: You want the sky to fall because two people living next door to you --
OLSON: What court after court after court has said, that allowing people of the same sex to marry the person that they love, to be part of the community and to be treated equally, does no damage to heterosexual marriage.
"Courts said ...does no damage to heterosexual marriage."
because courts are experts on that.
OLSON: And court after court after court has said children living in a same-sex relationship do as well or better than people in other communities.
because courts are experts on that.
PERKINS: The court doesn't study this social --
OLSON: The court heard evidence.
PERKINS: Let me ask you, what are the boundaries, though? If it's just love, what are the boundaries? Where can we go with marriage?
WALLACE: What are you suggesting? That they're going to be polygamy. That people will be marrying their pets?
Goes to the pets, because that can be ridiculed. Ignores the polygamy or incest concerns.
It deflects the serious answer.
PERKINS: No, I didn't say that. If we remove the natural established boundaries for marriage, the union of a man and woman, we have removed those boundaries, those guardrails.
There's no arbitrary boundary --
WALLACE: What about the argument that Ted Olson makes, which is, all right, you and your wife live happily in this house, there's a same-sex couple living here. What's the damage to you?
PERKINS: Let's talk about that. Let's talk about the wedding vendors that have been put out of business. Let's talk --
WALLACE: I'm not talking about that. That's a different issue.
Not it's not. Heterosexual marriages' financial stability has been harmed by lawsuits.
PERKINS: No, it's --
WALLACE: It's a different issue. I'm asking you, what's the impact on you and your family to have these people living next door?
PERKINS: Let's talk about it. Let's talk about my children all of a sudden, in school are taught values and morals that contradict what I teach as a parent at home. That's happening already across the country in those states that have recognized and forced same-sex marriage on the states.
Let's talk about the business place, let's about Aaron and Melissa Klein, a bakery in Oregon, forced out of business, forced to pay $150,000 in fines, simply because they didn't want to participate in a same-sex marriage.
WALLACE: We're gong to get to that in a second. But your argument as to whether somehow this damages the Perkins to have another couple next door?
OLSON: Well, everyone who has ever talked about this says there's no heterosexual couple that is going to decide to get divorced or not to get married or not to raise children just because another couple next to them is treated equally and with respect and decency under our Constitution. That is why we have courts.
When the Supreme Court finally acted, 16 states were still prohibiting interracial marriages.
As far as the marriage vendors, the people in the flower business or in the -- in the cake business or whatever it happens to be, we have a civil rights law that say if you're going to engage in commerce, you're not going to discriminate against people on the basis of their religion, sex or race. (Religion, sex (gender?), or race doesn't include sexual preference. This guy is a lawyer?)  That's a simple solution to the problem. Massachusetts --
PERKINS: Driving them out of business? (is a simple solution to the problem?)
OLSON: Massachusetts allowed same-sex marriage 10 years ago. Nobody has been put out of business in Massachusetts -- (Perkins answers correctly below " Well, look, adoption agencies have been put out of the business in Massachusetts. " and bakers and florists have been elsewhere.)
Now for why I think homosexual marriage harms heterosexual marriage.

Marriage is a communal recognition of a coital relationship. It is a contract to protect the interests of each of the married couple and their children.
Including financial interests.

It helps maintain societal stability by encouraging the transfer of wealth and assets from parents to children. As such, a civil government should promote such arrangements by recognizing them legally and documenting their structure (birth and marriage certificates).
In the current political environment, it was also decided to allow tax breaks to those who engaged in marriage to promote the welfare of the children.

When homosexual marriages are put on a par with heterosexual (normal) marriages, it first "waters the brand", dilutes the specialness of an arrangement meant to provide for children.
Next, when homosexual marriages are accorded the same tax breaks as heterosexual unions, the tax benefits to the normal marriages are diluted. 
When everybody gets a tax break and spending remains the same, everyone's taxes go up. 
This harms normal marriages and the children thereof.

Friday, October 3, 2014

That Was the Week that Was

So I got up at my usual time this morning for work and listened to the radio (Bill Bennett).
My wife sent me off to work with a smile and a prayer.
 I open the garage door walk, out into the driveway towards my truck and it is warm and humid as evidence of an overnight rain.
There's a soft breeze blowing through the trees above me, and something about it all, while seeming a warm summer day, says fall is approaching faster than you want it to.
Of course technically, fall is here.

I've kept my boat out of storage and I hope for one last day on the water watching the colors change.

We went out a few days ago on Monday night.
Launching the boat, we saw a lab being trained, the younger by the older. I thought of Brigid's dogs.

BTW: I got my Book of Barkley. Heartwarming. Thanks, Brigid.

We went to cross the lake to the restaurant, and called some friends to meet us.

They replied they were going to the car show in Belleville.
We knew nothing about it, but the restaurant was in Belleville.
We had a great dinner. Turns out that on Monday nights, many of their entrees were only $7!
We each had a large salmon fillet, small salad and fries (Scherie had veggies). What a bargain.
We asked the waitress if we could leave our boat at the dock as we went up to street level and the car show.
She said no problem.
We immediately ran into our friends.

We saw a lot of cool cars and then headed back to the boat.

And so we watched the sunset and went home by the light of the moon.
Our third and probably last outing this year.

Now at the risk of appearing to be a total show off, I present something that came in the mail last night.

Work and commitments have kept me exhausted all week, and unable to participate in the blog world to the extent I like to, but I am so grateful for the gifts this week has brought, and I wanted to share my joy.

Have a blessed weekend.